Some Health Related Issues in Australia and Methodologies for Estimating Small Area Health Related Characteristics

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Working Paper

Abstract

This working paper addresses two major health related issues in Australia and provides an account of the methodologies that have been used by researchers for estimating small area health related characteristics. Findings reveal that tobacco smoking as well as overweight and obesity are two leading causes of burden of many deadly diseases and mortality in Australia. In addition, the overall social and economic costs of tobacco smoking as well as for overweight and obesity are huge, and rapidly increasing over time. A review on small area health related characteristics estimation demonstrates that a range of factors such as ?????? social capital, socioeconomic disadvantages, geographical location and environmental factors, ethnic minority or immigrant status, social and economic class, demographic factors and lifestyle behaviours have significant effects on the variation of health related characteristics at small area levels. It is observed that there are three different sets of methodologies have been used by researchers in small area health related characteristics estimation which are 1) indirect standardisation and individual level modelling; 2) multilevel statistical modelling; and 3) spatial microsimulation modelling. Although each of these modelling approaches has its own strengths and weakness in relation to produce small area health related characteristics estimates, it seems that spatial microsimulation modelling shows significant robustness over the other methods, and may be the more precise means of estimating small area health related characteristics.

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