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Healthy Communities: Child and maternal health in 2009–2012 - Report - Key findings

Healthy Communities: Child and maternal health in 2009–2012

Download Report (PDF, 10.3 MB)

Key findings

Infant and young child mortality in this report refers to the death of a liveborn child before the age of 5 years. The majority of these deaths (84%) occur in infancy (before 1 year of age).

In 2010–2012, the national rate of infant and young child mortality was 4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births (1,344 deaths).

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the infant and young child mortality rate was more than three times higher in the catchment with the highest rate compared to the catchment with the lowest rate.

The infant and young child mortality rate ranged as follows:

Highest: Northern Territory – 9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births

Lowest: Bayside (Vic) – 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births

(Figure 3 and Health status and outcomes).

The percentage of infant deaths compared with young child deaths also varied across local areas. Of the 59 local areas reported, infant deaths accounted for the vast majority (90% or more) of all infant and young child deaths in five Medicare Local catchments – Central Coast NSW, Eastern Sydney, Macedon Ranges & North Western Melbourne, Inner East Melbourne and Northern Sydney.

In contrast, infant deaths accounted for less than 75% of all infant and young child deaths in South West WA, Great South Coast (Vic), Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) and Country South SA.

Variation across peer groups

There were differences found in infant and young child mortality rates across local areas with similar geographic characteristics.

  • Across metropolitan areas, the infant and young child mortality rate was more than double in the lower-income urban catchment of Greater Metro South Brisbane (6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, Metro 2) compared to the wealthier inner-city catchment of Bayside (Vic) (2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, Metro 1)
  • Across regional areas, the infant and young child mortality rate was almost double in the lower-income catchment of Country South SA (6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, Regional 2) compared to the wealthier catchment of Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) (3.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, Regional 1)
  • Across rural areas, the infant and young child mortality rate was almost double in the Rural 2 catchment of Northern Territory (9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births) compared to 4.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in Country North SA (Rural 1) and Goldfields-Midwest (WA) (Rural 2).

Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar local areas even after accounting for broad geographic and socioeconomic circumstances. For example:

  • Within the Metro 2 peer group, the infant and young child mortality rate was more than double in Greater Metro South Brisbane (6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births) compared to South Western Melbourne (2.9 deaths per 1,000 live births).
  • Within the Regional 2 peer group, the infant and young child mortality rate was 86% higher in Country South SA (6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births) compared to Goulburn Valley (Vic) (3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births) (Table 1).

While this report shows higher rates of infant and young child deaths in regional and rural compared to metropolitan areas and in lower-income compared to higher-income areas, there are some areas that do not follow this trend. These areas demonstrate what can be achieved for other similar areas.

For example, Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW), Barwon (Vic) and Goulburn Valley (Vic) are middle-to lower-income regional areas that have infant and child mortality rates similar to or better than many higher-income metropolitan communities.

Table 1: Highest and lowest infant and young child mortality rates across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2010–12
Peer group Highest rate Lowest rate Difference
Metro 1 4.2 2.6 62% (1.6 times higher)
Metro 2 6.1 2.9 110% (2.1 times higher)
Metro 3 5.0 3.3 52% (1.5 times higher)
Regional 1 5.8 3.3 76% (1.8 times higher)
Regional 2 6.5 3.5 86% (1.9 times higher)
Rural 1 7.3 4.9 49% (1.5 times higher)
Rural 2 9.2 4.9 88% (1.9 times higher)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant and young child mortality

Infant and young child mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have declined over the past decade with 42% of the decline in infant mortality rates due to a decrease in sudden infant deaths syndrome (SIDS) and 25% due to a fall in deaths from certain conditions originating in the perinatal period.7 External causes (injury and poisoning) account for just over half of all deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant and young children.

The recent Australian Government report on Closing the Gap (2014) showed that changes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant and young child mortality rate are currently within range to meet the target of halving the gap in mortality rates by 2018.8 However, between 2006 and 2010 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant and young child mortality rates were still double the non-Indigenous rate, as were infant mortality rates (8 deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 4 deaths per 1,000 live births). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rates also varied across states and territories, from 6 deaths per 1,000 live births in SA, to 13 deaths per 1,000 live births in the NT.* 9

* Reliable data on child mortality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are available for NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT.

Figure 3: Infant and young child mortality rates, by Medicare Local catchment, 2010–2012

Figure showing infant and young child mortaility rates by Medicare Local catchment during 2010-2012.

The classification of potentially avoidable deaths are split into Deaths greater or equal to 75 years or less than 75 years (premature). Premature deaths are then split further into unavoidable deaths and avoidable. Avoidable deaths are comprised of two categories: Preventable and Treatable as shown in the following table: Show tabular data Hide tabular data
Medicare Local catchment Infant (< 1 year) mortality rate Infant and young child (< 5 years) mortality rate Average annual no. deaths children < 5 years*
Metro 1 2.9 3.3 164
Bayside (Vic) 2.3 2.6 19
Sydney North Shore & Beaches 2.3 2.8 18
Eastern Sydney 2.7 3.0 15
Northern Sydney 2.8 3.1 13
Inner East Melbourne 3.0 3.3 21
Inner West Sydney 3.2 3.6 33
Australian Capital Territory 3.2 3.8 20
Inner NW Melbourne 3.7 4.2 24
Metro 2 3.6 4.1 333
South Western Melbourne 2.4 2.9 13
Perth North Metro 2.4 3.0 22
South Eastern Sydney 2.7 3.0 20
Perth Central & East Metro 2.6 3.2 18
Central Adelaide & Hills 2.9 3.4 19
Fremantle (WA) 2.6 3.4 10
Bentley-Armadale (WA) 3.0 3.6 21
Eastern Melbourne 3.3 3.7 19
Sthn Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Is. 3.2 3.9 18
Metro North Brisbane 4.1 4.7 56
Gold Coast (Qld) 4.4 5.0 34
Greater Metro South Brisbane 5.5 6.1 83
Metro 3 3.6 4.3 272
Northern Melbourne 2.7 3.3 31
Northern Adelaide 2.9 3.4 20
Macedon Ranges & NW Melb 3.6 3.9 29
West Moreton-Oxley (Qld) 3.7 4.3 25
Western Sydney 3.8 4.4 63
South Eastern Melbourne 4.0 4.8 37
South Western Sydney 4.4 5.0 67
Regional 1 3.6 4.3 158
Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) 2.6 3.3 16
Barwon (Vic) 2.8 3.6 12
Central Coast NSW 3.7 3.9 15
Perth South Coastal 3.5 3.9 13
Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) 3.5 4.3 20
Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) 3.2 4.7 16
Hunter (NSW) 4.0 4.8 42
Sunshine Coast (Qld) 4.8 5.8 24
Regional 2 4.1 5.0 241
Goulburn Valley (Vic) 2.8 3.5 7
Southern NSW 3.4 4.0 9
Gippsland (Vic) 3.5 4.0 12
Hume (Vic/NSW) 3.7 4.1 10
Great South Coast (Vic) 2.9 4.3 5
Grampians (Vic) 3.3 4.4 11
Tasmania 4.1 4.7 30
South West WA 3.1 4.9 19
North Coast NSW 4.3 5.0 28
Loddon-Mallee-Murray (Vic/NSW) 4.3 5.1 13
Darling Downs-SW Qld 4.3 5.3 23
Murrumbidgee (NSW) 4.9 5.7 14
Western NSW 4.5 5.7 20
New England (NSW) 5.3 6.1 15
Wide Bay (Qld) 5.0 6.2 15
Country South SA 4.6 6.5 10
Rural 1 4.6 5.6 75
Country North SA 3.8 4.9 12
Townsville-Mackay (Qld) 4.0 5.0 31
Far West NSW NP 5.3 3
Lower Murray (Vic/NSW) NP 5.7 5
Central Qld 6.1 7.3 24
Rural 2 6.5 7.9 101
Goldfields-Midwest (WA) 3.7 4.9 10
Kimberley-Pilbara (WA) 5.7 6.7 11
Central & NW Qld 6.9 8.1 7
Far North Qld 7.0 8.5 36
Northern Territory 7.6 9.2 37
NATIONAL RESULT 3.7 4.4 1,344
*
The number of deaths may vary across Medicare Local catchments with similar rates due to differences in the number of live births.
NP
Not available for publication.
Notes
Deaths are attributed to the Medicare Local catchment in which the infant or young child usually resided, irrespective of where they died. Births are attributed to the Medicare Local catchment in which the mother usually resided, irrespective of where the birth occurred.
Sources:
National Health Performance Authority analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics Death Registrations Collection 2010–2012 and Australian Bureau of Statistics Birth Registrations Collection 2010–2012.

Low birthweight, all women

Nationally, the percentage of liveborn babies* of low birthweight was 4.8% for babies born to all women in 2009–2011 and 11.0% for babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in 2007–2011.

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of all live births that were of low birthweight was more than double in the catchment with the highest percentage compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of all live births that were of low birthweight ranged as follows:

Highest: Northern Territory – 7.7%

Lowest: Sydney North Shore & Beaches – 3.3%

(Figure 4 and Low-birthweight babies, all women).

Variation across peer groups

There were differences in the percentage of babies born of low birthweight across local areas with similar geographic characteristics.

  • Across metropolitan areas, the percentage of all liveborn babies of low birthweight was 73% higher in the lower-income urban catchment of Northern Adelaide (5.7%, Metro 3) compared to the wealthy inner-city catchment of Sydney North Shore & Beaches (3.3%, Metro 1)
  • Across regional and rural areas, the percentage of all liveborn babies of low birthweight was higher in most lower-income catchments (Regional 2 and Rural 2) compared to higherincome catchments (Regional 1 and Rural 1).
Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments even after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 2 peer group, the percentage of all live births that were of low birthweight was 41% higher in South Western Melbourne (5.2%) compared to Fremantle (WA) (3.7%)
  • Within the Regional 2 peer group, the percentage of all live births that were of low birthweight was 27% higher in Country South SA, New England (NSW) and Tasmania (5.6%) compared to South West WA (4.4%) (Table 2).

* Multiple births are excluded for the results for low birthweight in this report.

Smoking during pregnancy, all women

Nationally, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was 13.9% for all women for 2009–2011 and 51.7% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women for 2007–2011.

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was 18 times higher in the catchment with the highest compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy ranged as follows:

Highest: Far West NSW – 33.1%

Lowest: Sydney North Shore & Beaches – 1.8%

(Figure 4 and Smoking during pregnancy, all women page).

Table 2: Highest and lowest percentage of low-birthweight babies of all women across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2009–11
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 4.4% 3.3% 33% (1.3 times higher)
Metro 2 5.2% 3.7% 41% (1.4 times higher)
Metro 3 5.7% 4.7% 21% (1.2 times higher)
Regional 1 4.9% 4.3% 14% (1.1 times higher)
Regional 2 5.6% 4.4% 27% (1.3 times higher)
Rural 1 7.5% 5.0% 50% (1.5 times higher)
Rural 2 7.7% 5.8% 33% (1.3 times higher)
Table 3: Highest and lowest percentage of smoking during pregnancy among all women across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2009–11
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 10.2% 1.8% 467% (5.7 times higher)
Metro 2 14.5% 4.7% 209% (3.1 times higher)
Metro 3 22.4% 8.0% 180% (2.8 times higher)
Regional 1 18.8% 14.0% 34% (1.3 times higher)
Regional 2 26.5% 15.5% 71% (1.7 times higher)
Rural 1 33.1% 19.5% 70% (1.7 times higher)
Rural 2 27.6% 21.2% 30% (1.3 times higher)
Variation across peer groups

There were differences in the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy across local areas with similar geographic characteristics.

  • Across metropolitan areas, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was 12 times higher in the lower-income urban catchment of Northern Adelaide (22.4%, Metro 3) compared to the wealthier inner-city catchment of Sydney North Shore & Beaches (1.8%, Metro 1)
  • Across regional areas, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was higher in most lower-income catchments compared to higher-income catchments. For example, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was almost double at 26.5% in Wide Bay (Qld) (Regional 2) compared to 14.0% in Barwon (Vic) and Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) (Regional 1).

However across rural areas this trend of lower rates of smoking during pregnancy in higherincome areas compared to lower-income areas was not apparent.

Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments even after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 1 peer group, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was more than five times higher in Australian Capital Territory (10.2%) compared to Sydney North Shore & Beaches (1.8%)
  • Within the Metro 2 peer group, the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was three times higher in Southern Adelaide- Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island (SA) (14.5%) compared to South Eastern Sydney (4.7%) (Table 3).

Low birthweight, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of live births to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women that were of low birthweight was 2.6 times higher in the catchment with the highest compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of live births to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women that were of low birthweight ranged from:

Highest: Gippsland (Vic) – 17.5%

Lowest: Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) – 6.7%

(Figure 5 and low birthweight, Aboriginal and Torres Strait women).

Variation across peer groups

Across the three metropolitan peer groups, there was no apparent trend of lower rates of low-birthweight babies in higher-income areas compared to lower-income areas. Similarly, no trend was seen across regional areas or across rural areas.

Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 2 peer group, the percentage of all live births that were babies of low birthweight born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was twice as high in Bentley-Armadale (WA) (14.3%) compared to Metro North Brisbane (7.1%)
  • Within the Regional 2 peer group, the percentage of all live births that were babies of low birthweight born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was more than twice as high in Gippsland (Vic) (17.5%) compared to Wide Bay (Qld) (7.6%) (Table 4).

Smoking during pregnancy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who smoked during pregnancy* was more than double in the catchment with the highest compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who smoked during pregnancy ranged as follows:

Highest: Goulburn Valley (Vic) – 66.4%

Lowest: Macedon Ranges & North Western Melbourne – 29.4%

(Figure 5 and Smoking during pregnancy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women).

Variation across peer groups

There were differences in the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who smoked during pregnancy across regional peer groups with higher rates of smoking during pregnancy in almost all lower-income areas compared to middle-income areas.

Across metropolitan areas and across rural areas, this trend of lower rates of low-birthweight babies in higher-income areas compared to lower-income areas was not apparent.

Table 4: Highest and lowest percentage of low-birthweight babies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2007–2011
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 13.5% 8.0% 69% (1.7 times higher)
Metro 2 14.3% 7.1% 101% (2.0 times higher)
Metro 3 13.5% 7.0% 93% (1.9 times higher)
Regional 1 13.0% 6.7% 94% (1.9 times higher)
Regional 2 17.5% 7.6% 130% (2.3 times higher)
Rural 1 13.6% 9.1% 49% (1.5 times higher)
Rural 2 13.3% 10.3% 29% (1.3 times higher)
Table 5: Highest and lowest percentage of smoking during pregnancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2007–2011*
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 53.7% 35.1% 53% (1.5 times higher)
Metro 2 56.7% 34.4% 65% (1.6 times higher)
Metro 3 62.0% 29.4% 111% (2.1 times higher)
Regional 1 48.9% 42.0% 16% (1.2 times higher)
Regional 2 66.4% 34.7% 91% (1.9 times higher)
Rural 1 62.2% 51.5% 21% (1.2 times higher)
Rural 2 55.6% 46.7% 19% (1.2 times higher)
Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments even after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 3 peer group, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who smoked during pregnancy was more than double in Northern Adelaide (62.0%) compared to Macedon Ranges & North Western Melbourne (29.4%)
  • Within the Regional 2 peer group, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who smoked during pregnancy was almost double in Goulburn Valley (Vic) (66.4%) compared to Grampians (Vic) (34.7%) (Table 5).

* The results do not include data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who usually resided in Victoria and gave birth in Victoria in 2007 and 2008.

Figure 4: Percentage of all women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester, by measures of child and maternal health, by Medicare Local catchment, 2009–2012

Figure showing percentage of all women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester by measures of child and maternal health for Medicare Local catchment during 2009-2012.

The classification of all women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester. The data also shows the percentage of women smoking during the pregnancy and low birthweight along with mortality rate per 1,000 for infants and young children. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
Medicare Local catchment Antenatal visit in first trimester Smoking during pregnancy Low birthweight Infant & young child mortality rate per 1,000
Western Sydney 87.7% 8.0% 4.8% 4.4
Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) 85.5% 14.8% 4.4% 3.3
Sydney North Shore & Beaches 85.5% 1.8% 3.3% 2.8
Northern Sydney 85.1% 2.2% 3.6% 3.1
Central Adelaide & Hills 84.7% 10.8% 4.8% 3.4
Central Coast NSW 83.0% 15.8% 4.9% 3.9
Western NSW 82.7% 23.2% 4.9% 5.7
Northern Adelaide 82.3% 22.4% 5.7% 3.4
Eastern Sydney 81.2% 2.5% 3.5% 3.0
New England (NSW) 81.2% 22.7% 5.6% 6.1
Murrumbidgee (NSW) 79.9% 18.2% 4.7% 5.7
North Coast NSW 79.7% 18.2% 4.8% 5.0
Hunter (NSW) 77.1% 16.9% 4.7% 4.8
Metro North Brisbane 75.6% 13.0% 4.6% 4.7
Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) 75.4% 14.0% 4.3% 4.3
Country North SA 75.2% 26.7% 5.6% 4.9
Country South SA 74.9% 25.6% 5.6% 6.5
West Moreton-Oxley (Qld) 74.2% 19.6% 4.9% 4.3
Inner East Melbourne 72.7% 3.9% 4.3% 3.3
Bayside (Vic) 72.7% 5.5% 4.0% 2.6
Sthn Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Is 72.5% 14.5% 4.7% 3.9
Far West NSW 72.1% 33.1% 7.5% 5.3
Perth South Coastal 72.0%# 18.8% 4.3% 3.9
Northern Territory 71.2% 27.0% 7.7% 9.2
Inner West Sydney 70.5% 6.3% 4.2% 3.6
Eastern Melbourne 69.3% 11.3% 4.7% 3.7
Great South Coast (Vic) 68.5% 19.1% 5.0% 4.3
Southern NSW 68.5% 19.2% 5.2% 4.0
Lower Murray (Vic/NSW) 67.9% 22.3% 5.8% 5.7
Sunshine Coast (Qld) 67.8% 15.6% 4.9% 5.8
South West WA 67.3%# 17.1% 4.4% 4.9
South Eastern Sydney 67.1% 4.7% 4.0% 3.0
TasmaniA 67.1% 22.2% 5.6% 4.7
Inner NW Melbourne 64.1% 6.8% 4.4% 4.2
Townsville-Mackay (Qld) 63.9% 19.5% 5.2% 5.0
Barwon (Vic) 63.7% 14.0% 4.4% 3.6
Northern Melbourne 63.1% 9.5% 4.9% 3.3
Darling downs-SW Qld 62.3% 23.9% 4.6% 5.3
Gippsland (Vic) 61.2% 21.2% 5.5% 4.0
Hume (Vic/NSW) 59.5% 19.2% 5.0% 4.1
Central Qld 58.8% 22.1% 5.0% 7.3
Bentley-Armadale (WA) 58.5%# 12.8% 5.1% 3.6
South Western Melbourne 58.3% 11.1% 5.2% 2.9
Gold Coast (Qld) 57.8% 12.6% 4.2% 5.0
Greater Metro South Brisbane 56.3% 13.7% 4.7% 6.1
Goldfields-Midwest (WA) 55.9%# 21.2% 5.8% 4.9
Loddon-Mallee-Murray (Vic/NSW) 55.5% 20.9% 5.2% 5.1
Central & NW Qld 55.2% 27.6% 7.6% 8.1
South Western Sydney 55.0% 14.4% 4.7% 5.0
South Eastern Melbourne 54.0% 15.4% 5.1% 4.8
Perth North Metro 53.9%# 8.5% 4.7% 3.0
Far North Qld 53.5% 27.3% 6.2% 8.5
Fremantle (WA) 50.4%# 7.4% 3.7% 3.4
Perth Central & East Metro 50.1%# 9.6% 4.6% 3.2
Macedon Ranges & NW Melb 49.8% 10.7% 4.9% 3.9
Kimberley-Pilbara (WA) 45.2%# 25.4% 6.5% 6.7
Australian Capital Territory * 45.2%# 10.2% 4.3% 3.8
Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) 41.7% 18.5% 4.3% 4.7
Goulburn Valley (Vic) 41.3% 24.4% 5.4% 3.5
Wide Bay (Qld) 40.9% 26.5% 5.3% 6.2
Grampians (Vic) 36.6% 15.5% 5.2% 4.4
*
Women who usually resided in the Australian Capital Territory and gave birth in New South Wales were not counted in the results for the Australian Capital Territory Medicare Local catchment for antenatal visits in the first trimester, smoking during pregnancy and low birthweight.
#
Interpret with caution. In WA and ACT, first antenatal visits that occur outside of the hospital may not be included.
Notes:
Jurisdictional differences in definitions and methods used for data collection affect the comparability of these data across jurisdictions and lower levels of geography within jurisdictions. For data limitations and exclusions, see this report’s Technical Supplement.
Sources:
Customised data report prepared for the NHPA from the AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection 2009–2011 (birthweight, smoking during pregnancy) and 2010–2011 (antenatal visits) and NHPA analysis of ABS Death Registrations Collection 2010–2012 and ABS Birth Registrations Collection 2010–2012.

Figure 5: Percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester, by measures of child and maternal health, by Medicare Local catchment, 2007–2011

Figure showing percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester by measures of child and maternal health for Medicare Local catchment during 2007-2011.

The classification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester. The data also shows the percentage of women smoking during the pregnancy and low birthweight. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
Medicare Local catchment Antenatal visit in first trimester Smoking during pregnancy Low birthweight
Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) 80.5% 46.4% 10.3%
Western Sydney 74.7% 49.4% 11.6%
Central Coast NSW 73.5% 42.0% 9.9%
North Coast NSW 70.0% 52.5% 10.6%
Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) 69.9% 46.9% 7.8%
Murrumbidgee (NSW) 68.1% 52.1% 7.8%
Western NSW 67.9% 53.1% 8.9%
New England (NSW) 66.6% 55.1% 11.5%
Perth South Coastal 65.3%# 48.3% 10.8%
Tasmania 64.5% 52.7% 8.3%
Hunter (NSW) 64.2% 48.9% 10.3%
West Moreton-Oxley (Qld) 60.8% 53.9% 8.0%
Far West NSW 60.8% 60.8% 12.4%
Southern NSW 60.6% 55.6% 14.7%
Country South SA 57.1% 64.6% 10.7%
Northern Adelaide 57.1% 62.0% 13.5%
Hume (Vic/NSW) 57.1% 51.8%# 10.9%
Lower Murray (Vic/NSW) 56.8% 56.6%# 13.6%
South Western Sydney 55.3% 47.0% 9.7%
Country North SA 55.0% 62.2% 13.0%
Sunshine Coast (Qld) 52.9% 42.8% 8.1%
Central Adelaide & Hills 51.9% 55.3% 10.6%
Inner West Sydney 50.9% 49.0% 13.1%
Australian Capital Territory* 50.8%# 53.7% 11.6%
Northern Territory 49.8% 52.2% 13.0%
Sthn Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Is 48.8% 56.7% 8.9%
Gippsland (Vic) 48.1% 52.1%# 17.5%
Darling downs-SW Qld 46.8% 60.4% 9.3%
Metro North Brisbane 45.5% 47.1% 7.1%
Northern Melbourne 44.8% 35.7%# 10.0%
South West WA 44.4%# 51.8% 14.0%
Townsville-Mackay (Qld) 42.5% 51.5% 10.9%
Far North Qld 41.6% 55.6% 10.3%
Loddon-Mallee-Murray (Vic/NSW) 41.2% 54.4%# 12.1%
Central Qld 38.7% 52.4% 9.1%
Kimberley-Pilbara (WA) 38.7%# 52.9% 13.3%
Central & NW Qld 38.5% 53.1% 12.3%
Gold Coast (Qld) 38.1% 35.0% 8.3%
Macedon Ranges & NW Melb 37.9% 29.4%# 7.0%
Goulburn Valley (Vic) 36.2% 66.4%# 9.7%
Goldfields-Midwest (WA) 32.8%# 46.7% 12.5%
Wide Bay (Qld) 28.6% 50.4% 7.6%
Greater Metro South Brisbane 27.6% 43.5% 9.1%
Grampians (Vic) 21.8% 34.7%# 11.9%
Bentley-Armadale (WA) 21.6%# 52.5% 14.3%
Perth North Metro 19.9%# 44.3% 11.9%
Perth Central & East Metro 19.0%# 51.4% 12.9%
Barwon (Vic) NP NP 13.0%
Bayside (Vic) NP NP NP
Eastern Melbourne NP NP NP
Eastern Sydney NP 35.1% 8.0%
Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) NP NP 6.7%
Fremantle (WA) NP 47.6% 13.0%
Great South Coast (Vic) NP NP 16.4%
Inner East Melbourne NP NP NP
Inner NW Melbourne NP NP 13.5%
Northern Sydney NP NP NP
South Eastern Melbourne NP 43.4%# 7.2%
South Eastern Sydney NP 34.4% 7.2%
South Western Melbourne NP NP NP
Sydney North Shore & Beaches NP NP NP
*
Women who usually resided in the Australian Capital Territory and gave birth in New South Wales were not counted in the results for the Australian Capital Territory Medicare Local catchment for antenatal visits in the first trimester, smoking during pregnancy and low birthweight.
#
Interpret with caution. In WA and ACT, first antenatal visits that occur outside of the hospital may not be included. Data on smoking during pregnancy were not available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who usually resided in Victoria and gave birth in Victoria in 2007 and 2008.
Notes:
Jurisdictional differences in definitions and methods used for data collection affect the comparability of these data across jurisdictions and lower levels of geography within jurisdictions. For data limitations and exclusions, see this report’s Technical Supplement.
Source:
Customised data report prepared for the NHPA from the AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection 2007–2011 (birthweight, smoking during pregnancy) and 2010–2011 (antenatal visits).

All women

In 2010–2011, the national percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy was 67.2% for all women and 50.3% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester in 2010–2011 was more than double in the catchment with the highest percentage compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester ranged as follows:

Highest: Western Sydney – 87.7%

Lowest: Grampians (Vic) – 36.6%

(Figure 4 and Antenatal visits by all women).

Variation across peer groups

There were differences in the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester across local areas with similar geographic characteristics.

Across rural areas, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was 41% higher in the Rural 1 catchment of Country North SA (75.2%) compared to the Rural 2 catchment of Far North Queensland (53.5%).

However, across metropolitan areas and across regional areas this trend of higher rates of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester in higher-income areas compared to lower-income areas was not apparent, with some local areas demonstrating what can be achieved for other similar areas.

For example:

  • Across metropolitan areas, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was 37% higher in the lowerincome urban catchment of Western Sydney (87.7%, Metro 3) compared to wealthier innercity catchment of Inner North West Melbourne (64.1%, Metro 1)
  • Across regional areas, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was almost double in the lower-income catchment of Western NSW (82.7%) compared to the wealthier catchment of Frankston-Mornington-Peninsula (Vic) (41.7%).
Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments even after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 1 peer group, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was 33% higher in Sydney North Shore & Beaches (85.5%) compared to Inner North West Melbourne (64.1%)
  • Within the Regional 1 peer group, the percentage of women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was double in Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) (85.5%) compared to Frankston-Mornington-Peninsula (Vic) (41.7%) (Table 6).
Table 6: Highest and lowest percentage of all women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2010–2011
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 85.5% 64.1% 33% (1.3 times higher)
Metro 2 84.7% 56.3% 50% (1.5 times higher)
Metro 3 87.7% 49.8% 76% (1.8 times higher)
Regional 1 85.5% 41.7% 105% (2.1 times higher)
Regional 2 82.7% 36.6% 126% (2.3 times higher)
Rural 1 75.2% 58.8% 28% (1.3 times higher)
Rural 2 71.2% 53.5% 33% (1.3 times higher)
Note:
Results for Medicare Local catchments that are to be interpreted with caution are not included.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Variation across local areas

Across local areas, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester in 2010–2011 was almost four times higher in the catchment with the highest compared to the catchment with the lowest percentage.

The percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester ranged as follows:

Highest: Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) – 80.5%

Lowest: Grampians (Vic) – 21.8%

(Figure 5 and Antenatal visits by Aboriginal and Torres Strait women).

Variation across peer groups

There were differences in the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester across local areas with similar geographic characteristics.

  • Across regional areas, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was almost four times higher in the wealthier catchment of Nepean- Blue Mountains (NSW) (80.5%, Regional 1) compared to the lower-income catchment of Grampians (Vic) (21.8%, Regional 2)
  • Across rural areas, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester tended to be higher in the Rural 1 peer group compared to the Rural 2 peer group. The percentage was 58% higher in Far West NSW (60.8%, Rural 1) compared to Central & North West Queensland (38.5%, Rural 2).

However, across metropolitan areas this trend of higher rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester in higher-income areas compared to lower-income areas was not apparent, with some local areas demonstrating what can be achieved for other similar areas.

For example, across metropolitan areas, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was almost three times higher in the lower-income urban catchment of Western Sydney (74.7%, Metro 3) compared to Greater Metro South Brisbane (27.6%, Metro 2).

Variation within peer groups

There were differences across similar catchments even after accounting for geographic and socioeconomic circumstances.

  • Within the Metro 2 peer group, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was almost double in Central Adelaide & Hills (51.9%) compared to Greater Metro South Brisbane (27.6%)
  • Within the Regional 2 peer group, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester was more than three times higher in North Coast NSW (70.0%) compared to Grampians (Vic) (21.8%) (Table 7).
Table 7: Highest and lowest percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester across Medicare Local catchments, by peer group, 2010–2011
Peer group Highest percentage Lowest percentage Difference
Metro 1 * - - -
Metro 2 51.9% 27.6% 88% (1.9 times higher)
Metro 3 74.7% 37.9% 97% (2.0 times higher)
Regional 1 80.5% 52.9% 52% (1.5 times higher)
Regional 2 70.0% 21.8% 221% (3.2 times higher)
Rural 1 60.8% 38.7% 57% (1.6 times higher)
Rural 2 49.8% 38.5% 29% (1.3 times higher)
*
Data were only available for two Medicare Local catchments in this peer group.
Note:
Results for Medicare Local catchments that are to be interpreted with caution are not included..

7. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Timing impact assessment of COAG Closing the Gap targets: Child mortality. Cat. no. IHW 124. Canberra: AIHW; 2014.

8. Australian Government. Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2014 [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2014 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/publications/docs/closing_the_gap_2014.pdfExternal link, opens in a new window.

9. Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2012 Report. Canberra: AHMAC; 2012.

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