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Health and independence report 2019 1.3 MB

This report presents the latest data on measures of health, including life expectancy, causes of health loss, and determinants of health. It covers the period up to the end of 2019, so it does not include COVID-19 information. The impacts of COVID-19 on the health and disability system, and people’s health and wellbeing, will be canvassed in future years’ reports.

Key findings:

  • Most adults (86 percent) report their health as good, very good or excellent. However, this figure is slowly trending downwards, while the proportion of adults rating their health as only fair or poor is slowly increasing.
  • Māori and Pacific adults have lower levels of self-rated health and these self-ratings have worsened over time.
  • A boy born in 2019 could expect to live 79.9 years, and a girl 83.6 years. This has increased by 7.2 and 5.2 years respectively since 1990.
  • Health expectancy, which is the number of years lived in good health, is 68.9 years for males and 70.3 years for females. This has increased by 5.6 and 4.2 years respectively since 1990.
  • ‘Health loss’ means the gap between the state of health of the current population and that of an ideal population in which everyone experiences a long life free from illness or disability. The overall rate of health loss has declined since 1990, once population growth and ageing are taken into account.
  • Over 80 percent of our health loss is due to non-communicable diseases.
  • Four condition groups together contribute to half of this health loss: cancers (18.5 percent), cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (15.1 percent), mental disorders (8.7 percent) and musculoskeletal disorders (8.6 percent).
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