A new report on Australia’s health highlights the need for investment in preventative health care such as physiotherapy to combat growing rates of chronic disease including our two biggest killers, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australia’s Health 2022 report illustrates the importance of addressing modifiable risk factors, such as obesity and lack of exercise, to prevent chronic diseases.
“Chronic diseases such as heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes and musculoskeletal conditions can be prevented or delayed by addressing modifiable risk factors such as obesity or physical inactivity,” Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) National President Scott Willis said.
“High-quality physiotherapy as preventive activity over the lifecycle is key to reducing the disease burden.”
dementia was the leading cause of death among women (9,325 deaths) and the second leading cause of death among men (5,250 deaths).
“As our population ages, dementia cases and deaths are rising. We know that a healthy lifestyle including physical activity may prevent and delay the onset of the disease
Chronic disease burden included:
* 3 in 10 (27%, or 6.9 million) people had arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis in 2020-21
* 1 in 20 (almost 1.3 million) people were living with diabetes (type 1, type 2 and other diabetes) in 2020
* 1 in 3 (30% or 7.5 million) people had a chronic respiratory disease in 2020-21
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