Deaths from chronic disease fall in Australia but concerns rise for the future

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4089
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

Premature deaths due to chronic diseases fell significantly in Australia between 1997 and 2007, and reductions in smoking rates are being given part of the credit.

According to a new report, mortality from chronic conditions fell by 41%, from 417 deaths per 100 000 people in 1997 to 297 deaths per 100 000 people in 2007.

Over the same time, premature mortality—deaths occurring before 75 years of age—fell by 63%, from 153 to 94 deaths per 100 000 people.

“In 2007, a person was 17% less likely to die prematurely from a chronic disease than in 1997,” says an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Key indicators of progress for chronic disease and associated determinants.

It covers 42 indicators, with the aim of establishing a baseline for future report cards on progress against chronic …

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