Health Snapshots

Asthma

Asthma (chronic inflammation of the airways) is a common respiratory condition. Asthma may start during childhood and continue throughout life. In 2017-18, an estimated 16% of children and young people aged 2-17 years in South Australia reported having experienced symptoms of, or having received treatment for asthma in the previous 12 months.

Asthma in South Australia is more prevalent in young people aged 10-17 years (18%) than children aged 2-9 years (15%). Girls or young women (17%) are more likely to have the condition than boys or young men (15%).

Young people smoking

In 2017, 10% of secondary school students 12-17 years in South Australia reported having ‘ever smoked tobacco’, lower than the national average of 18%, and a significant decrease from 1996 and 2011 when the proportions were 56% and 20% respectively.

Young men are slightly more likely to have smoked tobacco in the previous week than young females (3% as opposed to 2%) and young people 15-17 years were more likely to have smoked in the previous week than 12-15 year olds (5% as opposed 1%).

In South Australia, the proportion of young people 14-19 years that reported being daily smokers in 2016 was 5%, a slight decrease from 2010 (6%).

Overall health

The wellbeing and engagement collection (WEC) is an annual survey conducted by the Department for Education that asks students about their overall general health. In 2018 the WEC was completed by 65,000 year 4 to year 10 students from 524 schools.

In 2018, 81% of all year 4 to year 10 students were satisfied with their overall health (up slightly from 80% in 2016). The proportions of Aboriginal students and students with disability who reported being satisfied with their overall health was 79% and 75% respectively. Year 4 students were more likely to be satisfied with their overall health (88%) compared to year 10 students (69%).

In metropolitan Adelaide, the region with the highest proportion of year 4 to year 10 students satisfied with their overall health was Unley (89%). In regional/remote South Australia the region with the highest proportion was Yorke Peninsula (83%).

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