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Report Details Burden Of Disease And Injury

The Ministry of Health has published the first of a series of occassional bulletins about the health status of New Zealanders, updating the comprehensive review of the health status of the population, Our Health Our Future - Hauora Pakari, Koiora Roa, published in 1999.

The first occasional bulletin, titled The Burden of Disease and Injury in New Zealand, provides more detailed results and a fuller description of the method used to measure disease burden than were previously published in Our Health Our Future. Its publication has been prompted by health planners' and public health workers' high degree of interest in the information.

The main conclusions of the report have not changed. They are that smoking is the major cause of health loss (measured in 'disability adjusted life years'), followed by unhealthy diet (in particular, excessive consumption of animal fats and inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables) and physical inactivity. Obesity and diabetes are major consequential health problems, as are heart disease, stroke, and smoking-related cancers.

These issues are identified as key objectives in the New Zealand Health Strategy, released by the Minister of Health on 14 December 2000.

Other reports in the series of occasional bulletins are expected to include reports on the burden of disease and injury experienced by Maori and Pacific peoples, the monitoring of ethnic inequalities in health risks and outcomes, and the burden of diabetes.

For further information contact; Angus Barclay, Media Advisor, Ministry of Health Tel: 04- 496-2067 Internet Address;

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