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Are NSW Women Healthy?

Health Research
Last Updated Aug 21, 2020

Sydney seems to be a fairly healthy place, and Sydneysiders a fairly active bunch. But exactly how healthy are NSW women?

The NSW government's new "Health and Wellbeing" report paints an interesting picture. It shows that while women's health in the state is getting better, there are many areas for improvement.

The report looked at common health risk factors, top causes of death, mental health, and the disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. Let's look at the data.

Common health risk factors in NSW women

Almost 90% of women in NSW aren't eating enough vegetables, while close to half are shunning fruit. 

The report also found that just under 50% of women are overweight or obese, and don't get enough exercise. 

"We need more of a focus on how we can change the conditions to make it easier for people to eat healthy food and be active," said Jo Mitchell, executive director for the NSW government's Centre for Population Health.

"A small weight loss can make a big difference so it's worth pursuing those small changes. But if we're able to work with people to prevent unhealthy weight gain in the first place, that's going to be an easier approach."

Cancer still our biggest killer 

The top five causes of death for NSW women are: 

  1. Cancer (leading cause for women aged 45-74)
  2. Cardiovascular diseases (leading cause for women aged over 75)
  3. Respiratory diseases
  4. Mental and behaviour disorders
  5. Injury and poisoning (leading cause for women aged 25-44) 

Breast cancer was the most common cancer, while melanoma was the second most common. 

Mental health and indigenous health 

Alarmingly, the report found more than one in five young women experiences high to very high psychological distress - with a higher rate among women outside the city and those with English as a second language.

It also revealed that Aboriginal women have difficulty accessing health services and resources.

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Originally published on Mar 29, 2019

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