Source: The Mercury, 24 December, 1998, p.7


Aussies' life expectancy among the world's best



By DAVID LUFF 
 
AUSTRALIANS can ex- 
pect to live long lives, 
with official statistics 
yesterday revealing life 
expectancy is among the 
highest in the world. 
 
Heart disease and cancer 
stood out as the biggest kill- 
ers of Australians, account- 
ing for more than half of the 
deaths registered last year, 
according to a new report. 
 
The Australian Bureau of 
Statistics report also showed 
married people live longer 
than single Australians. 
 
Unmarried adult men died 
at rates up to four times 
higher than wedded males. 
Single women also died at a 
higher rate than married 
women, but the margin was 
less significant. 
 
Life expectancy has im- 
proved during the past 25 
years, adding seven years to 
the life of the average Aust- 
ralian woman and eight years 
to male life expectancy. Aust- 
ralian babies now have a 
better chance of survival than 
at any time on record. 
 
A boy born in Australia can 
expect to live for 75.6 years 
while a baby girl's life expect- 
ancy is 81.3 years. 
 
Australians are among the 
most "long-lived" people in 
the world, with life expectan- 
cies approaching the world's 
best in Japan, Sweden, Hong 
Kong and Switzerland. 
 
Australians born overseas 
have significantly lower 
death rates, particularly mi- 
grants from Italy, Greece, 
Vietnam, Phillipines, Malay- 
sia and China. 
 
Heart disease accounts for 
28% of deaths and cancer is 
the cause of death in 27% of 
cases. 
 
External causes-includ- 
ing car accidents, falls, 
drowning, violence, poisoning 
and suicide-account for 6%, 
or one in 16 deaths. 
 
Accidents are the prime 
cause of death for Aust- 
ralians aged up to 44 years. 
 
Australia's death rates are 
generally uniform across the 
country, expect for the North- 
ern Territory. The high pro- 
portion of Aboriginal resi- 
dents in the Top End left the 
Northern Territory with a 
death rate 58% higher than 
the national average.


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