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How healthy is Cairns compared to the rest of QLD?

How healthy is Cairns compared to the rest of QLD?

You’d think that living up here in the tropics we’d all be the picture of good health.

But a new health snapshot released by our local Primary Health Network shows that’s not quite the case.

The study used information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Department of Health, as well as specific data from Queensland Health. They also included summaries from a number of workshops and consultations.

Life expectancy

Firstly, good news for Cairns women who have a higher life expectancy than Cairns men – 83.1 years compared to 78.1 years.

While this might seem good overall, it’s actually slightly lower than the Queensland average. At a state level, women live to an average of 84 years and men live to an average of 79.1 years.

Smoking and alcohol

While women here are more likely to be daily smokers,  men in Cairns are the risky drinkers.

An average  one-in-six of us (17.5 per cent) smoke, including 16.6 per cent of men, and 18.5 per cent of women. Again, this is higher than the Queensland average where the report shows that 13.8 per cent smoke.

One of the worst statistics shown in this report involved pregnant women smoking. Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of Cairns women smoke while pregnant. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of certain birth defects so, if you are a pregnant woman and you would like help to quit smoking, make an appointment with one of our Cairns GPs today by calling (07) 4053 7900.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the booze, one third of men (33.1 per cet) have what is classified as “risky alcohol consumption”. Compare that to just one-in-seven (13.9 per cent) women. This is also higher than the state’s average.

Weight and healthy eating

A love of good food and lack of physical activity is obviously contributing to the two-thirds of us (60 per cent) who are overweight or obese – those of us with a body mass index above 25.

Men are more likely to be overweight than women (64.2 per cent compared to 55.8 per cent) but we’re still slightly worse than the state average in this area, too (57.8 per cent).

The report also looked at our healthy eating habits – the amount of us who eat two or more serves of fruit and five or more serves of vegetables every day. And while more than half of us are definitely eating enough fruit, only one-in-ten of us are eating the right amount of veggies.

Take a look at the full infographic here.