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Healthy body, healthy mind

09 August 2018

A new report from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) seeks to quantify the risks of physical health conditions contributing to a wide range of mental health conditions.

The Australia’s Mental and Physical Health Tracker report is the latest in the Australia’s Health Tracker series, and the first on links between physical and mental health conditions.

The report highlights that there are 4 million Australians living with mental health problems including anxiety, depression and other disorders, and more than 2.4 million Australians with both a mental and physical health condition.

A report card looks at the health of adult Australians by mental health status in relation to other health risk factors and co-morbid chronic diseases such as alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and cancer.

The data also seeks to quantify mental health conditions by location to show how where you live can influence your risks for poor mental health. 

Key statistics from the report show:

  • Smoking prevalence among people living with mental health conditions has remained almost unchanged over the past two decades, despite falling in other sections of the population
  • Males with a mental health conditions are 15% more likely to report risky drinking and women 10% more likely, than the general population
  • 1.075 million Australians are living with a mental health condition and a circulatory disease such as heart failure or hypertension – Australia’s biggest killer.
  • 321,400 Australians are living with diabetes and a mental health condition.
  • Almost 960,000 Australians have arthritis and a mental health condition.

Visit the AHPC website to read the full report.

For additional RANZCP resources:

Position Statement 87 Recognising and reducing alcohol-related harm

Physical health of people with mental illness resources for practice