Where you choose to live in Australia has a big impact on life expectancy and your likelihood of dying from a preventable cause, according to new research.
Published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Life expectancy and potentially avoidable deaths, 2013–2015 found Aussies who lived in metropolitan communities had a higher life expectancy than those in regional areas.
People living in Northern Sydney can expect to live the longest, at 85.5 years, while the Northern Territory had the shortest life expectancy, at 77.7 years.
“Overall, Australians born in 2013–2015 can expect to live 82.4 years, up from 82.1 years for those born in 2011–2013,” said AIHW spokesperson Claire Sparke.
“Life expectancy has also risen across most local communities, but substantial variation remains across Primary Health Network (PHN) areas.”
The rate of potentially avoidable deaths was higher in regional areas than in metropolitan areas, with particularly notable results seen again in Northern Sydney and the Northern Territory.
These are deaths that occur prematurely—before the age of 75—from causes that might have been preventable or treatable. There were almost 80,000 potentially avoidable deaths in Australia in 2013–2015, accounting for 17 per cent of all deaths over this period.
Northern Sydney had the lowest rate of potentially avoidable deaths of 62 deaths per 100,000 people, while the rate was highest in the Northern Territory at 226.
“Nationally, the rate of potentially avoidable deaths improved, from 117 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009–2011, to 108 in 2013–2015," Ms Sparke said.
"But again, when looking at regional and metropolitan areas—and across local communities—discrepancies were found.”