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Definitions and abbreviations: The Health of Queenslanders 2010

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ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) is the official and central statistical organisation for the Australian Government, whose primary responsibility is to provide official statistics that serve the needs of all levels of government. ABS is an independent statutory authority.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) is Australia’s national agency for health and welfare statistics and information.

Avoidable deaths comprises those causes of death that are potentially avoidable at the present time, given available knowledge about social and economic policy impacts and health behaviours.53

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of body fat calculated from height and weight where BMI = weight (kg)/height (m) squared.

CHD (coronary heart disease) is the most common form of cardiovascular disease, with stroke a close second.

CI (Confidence Interval) is a statistical interval which has a known and controlled probability (generally 95% or 99%) to contain the true value.

COAG (Council of Australian Governments) is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia, comprising the Prime  Minister, State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association.

COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disease in which the lung is damaged, making it hard to breathe.

DALY (Disability adjusted life year) is a measure of overall disease burden used by the World Health Organization.

Deaths refers to any death which occurs in, or en route to, Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.55  Rates are per 100,000 estimated resident population and are based on the year in which the death was registered.

Hospitalisations mean the total number of separations in all hospitals (public and private) that provide acute care  services. A separation is an episode of care which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or  death) or a portion of a hospital stay ending in a change of status (for example from acute care to rehabilitation).56

ICD (International Classification of Diseases) is the international standard diagnostic classification of diseases and other health problems which is used for health records.

Incidence is the number of new health related events (for example, illness and disease) in a defined population within a specific period of time. It may be measured as a frequency count, a rate or a proportion.57

Infant mortality rate is the number of deaths of children under one year of age in one calendar year per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year.55

Life expectancy refers to the average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex might expect to live if the age specific death rates of the given period continue throughout his/her life time. Life expectancies are calculated from life tables which are statistical models of levels of mortality in a population of different ages.55

Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of  pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.58

Morbidity is defined as a state of injury, sickness or disease.

Neonatal death is the death of any child weighing at least 400 grams at delivery (or, when birth weight is unavailable, of at least 20 weeks gestation) who was born alive and who died within 28 days of birth.59

OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) is a group of around thirty member countries that cooperatively discuss, develop and refine a broad range of economic and social policies. Australia became a member in 1971.

Perinatal mortality rate is the annual number of perinatal deaths per 1,000 births. Perinatal deaths include all foetal deaths of at least 400 grams birth weight or at least 20 weeks gestation and neonatal deaths (occurring in live births up to 28 completed days after birth).60

PPHs (Potentially preventable hospitalisations) are admissions to hospital that potentially could have been prevented through the provision of appropriate non-hospital health services – also referred to as hospitalisations for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions.54 In Queensland and nationally they are referred to as selected PPHs.

Prevalence refers to the total number of individuals who have an attribute or disease at a particular time (or period) divided by the population at risk of having the attribute or disease at that time (point prevalence) or midway through the period (period prevalence).57

Psychological distress is derived from the Kessler 10 Scale (K10). This is a scale of non-specific psychological distress based on 10 questions about negative emotional states in the four weeks prior to interview.61

Relative risk is the ratio of the risk of an event (disease, death) among those exposed to the risk compared to those not exposed.57

Standardised rates are the overall rates that would have prevailed in the population being studied if the age structure had been the same as the standard population. This enables the comparison of rates between populations with differing age structures by relating them to a standard population. The standard population used is Australia in 2001 and standardised rates are reported per 100,000 estimated resident population.

Survival is defined as the length of time between when a person is diagnosed with a disease and when they die. Relative survival compares the survival of people who have a particular disease or condition against the expected  survival of a comparable group from the general population, taking into account age, sex and year of diagnosis.

Total fertility rate is the number of children a female would bear during her lifetime if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates at each year of her childbearing age. Childbearing age in Australia is defined as 15–49 years.

Treatment proportion is the proportion of cases with a disease who received treatment.2

Volume of services per treated case is an estimate of the volume/amount of health services used per individual case of disease treated. Volume of services per treated case is expressed in a dollar value to indicate healthcare expenditure by each specific disease group.2

YLD (Years of life lost due to disability) is future loss of healthy years of life arising from new cases of disabling  conditions.

YLL (Years of life lost due to mortality) is a calculation of the number of deaths multiplied by a standard life expectancy at the age at which death occurs.

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Last Updated: 29 November 2010
Last Reviewed: 26 November 2010