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New report links health with social and economic status

Research 29 Nov 2017

Ten million Australians living in low socio-economic brackets are at high risk of dying early from chronic disease, according to Australia's Health Tracker by Socio-Economic Status, a new report from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University.

Jean Hailes for Women's Health, one of the AHPC's collaborating organisations, supports the sobering findings. The report, a national look at chronic disease and the risk factors in the population by socio-economic status, shows the close links between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor health.

"We're pleased to see the AHPC shining a light on these crucial issues," says the Director of Jean Hailes, Janet Michelmore AO. "This report demonstrates that more than one third of chronic illnesses could be prevented by removing risk factors such as alcohol, physical inactivity and smoking. This affects Australians from all socio-economic brackets."

According to the report, Australians living in the lowest socio-economic bracket are:

  • Four times more likely to die from diabetes
  • Three times more likely to die from a respiratory disease
  • Two-and-a-half times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease
  • Sixty per cent more likely to die from cancer.

The report is available on the AHPC website.

For the media

Jean Hailes has a range of experts to talk about chronic health issues and how to prevent chronic disease. To arrange an interview or for more information on Jean Hailes, please contact Janelle Carrigan on 0409 939 920 or email

For comment on the report, please contact Elisabeth Tarica at the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University on 0417 507 269 or