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North Sydney, Australia

Thrift A.P.,Center for Epidemiology and Research | Nancarrow H.,University of Sydney | Bauman A.E.,University of Sydney
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Objective: Social gradients in Aboriginal health are seldom explored. This study describes social gradients and trends in smoking during pregnancy among Aboriginal mothers in NSW. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the NSW Midwives Data Collection (MDC) 1994-2007, covering all births in NSW. Analyses examined associations between socio-demographic characteristics and smoking during pregnancy. Results: Data from 1,214,206 pregnant women showed that 17.4% smoked during pregnancy. The rate of smoking during pregnancy among all NSW women declined from 22.3% in 1994 to 12.8% in 2007; the rate among Aboriginal women remained high, declining from 61.4% in 1994 to 50.2% in 2007. Smoking was substantially higher among Aboriginal mothers compared to non-Aboriginal mothers. Socio-economic analyses showed that the smoking rate among low SES Aboriginal mothers was approximately two and a half times that of high SES Aboriginal women, a similar gradient to non-Aboriginal women. Conclusions: Indicators of socioeconomic position are a consistent, independent correlate of smoking during pregnancy for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. Implications: There is a need for a social inequalities approach to smoking during pregnancy, specifically targeting more disadvantaged Aboriginal mothers and all teenage mothers for smoking prevention. Strategies to access more disadvantaged mothers should not be missed through broadly focused Aboriginal tobacco control strategies. © 2011 The Authors. Source

Merom D.,University of Western Sydney | Merom D.,University of Sydney | Pye V.,NSW Biostatistical Officer Training Program | Macniven R.,University of Sydney | And 5 more authors.
Preventive Medicine

Objective: To examine older people's participation in fall prevention exercise/physical activities. Methods: Participants comprised 5,681 randomly selected older people (≥ 65. years) who took part in the 2009 New South Wales (Australia) Fall Prevention telephone survey (61% response-rate). The instrument consisted of 11 prompted activities including two separate questions on participation in strength and balance training. Tai chi, dance, team sports, golf, bowls and specific balance training were classified as balance-challenging activities. Correlates of low participation were examined using multivariable logistic regression. Results: One in eight older people (12.0%, 95% CI: 11.0-13.0) participated in strength training, 6.0% (95% CI: 5.2-6.7) participated in balance training and 21.8% (95% CI: 20.5-23.0) participated in balance-challenging activities. Adherence to public health recommendations (≥ 2. days/week) for strength or balance-challenging activities was reported by 21.0% (95% CI: 9.8-22.2) with 5.3% adhering to both forms. Engagements in strength or in balance-challenging activities were lower among those who had low education (< high-school), lived in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, were obese, had fair/poor self-rated health, had problems with walking or used a walking aid or had fallen in the past year. Conclusion: Participation in best practice exercise to prevent falls is low. Population-based approaches and targeted strategies for high-risk group are needed. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.. Source

Bentley J.P.,Center for Epidemiology and Research
New South Wales public health bulletin

The reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the NSW Admitted Patient Data Collection was ascertained using a stratified purposive sample of NSW public hospital patients in 2010. Information was collected by interviewing patients and compared with patient information obtained on admission. The study used the methods used in the national survey by the AIHW in 2007 and the study results were compared to the AIHW survey results. The level of correct reporting was 90.7% (95% CI 84.6-94.2). These results, while indicative, should be interpreted with caution as some people may not have identified themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander either on hospital admission or in the survey, and non-random sampling can produce non-representative samples. Source

Scandol J.P.,Center for Epidemiology and Research
New South Wales public health bulletin

Health Statistics NSW is a new web-based application developed by the Centre for Epidemiology and Research at the NSW Ministry of Health. The application is designed to be an efficient vehicle for the timely delivery of health statistics to a diverse audience including the general public, health planners, researchers, students and policy analysts. The development and implementation of this web application required the consideration of a series of competing demands such as: the public interest in providing health data while maintaining the privacy interests of the individuals whose health is being reported; reporting data at spatial scales of relevance to health planners while maintaining the statistical integrity of any inferences drawn; the use of hardware and software systems which are publicly accessible, scalable and robust, while ensuring high levels of security. These three competing demands and the relationships between them are discussed in the context of Health Statistics NSW. Source

Sparks R.,CSIRO | Keighley T.,CSIRO | Muscatello D.,Center for Epidemiology and Research
IIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)

Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) plans for negative binomial counts with a non-homogeneous (time-varying) mean are developed for monitoring disease counts. These plans are used to identify unusual disease outbreaks or unusual epidemics. Time-varying means are typical for disease counts. The recommended surveillance plan in this article differs from the traditional approach of using standardized forecast errors based on the normality assumption, which suffers assumption concerns. The article demonstrates that the proposed EWMA plan has efficient detection properties for signaling unusually large outbreaks. These plans may be a useful tool for epidemiologists. © 2010 "IIE". Source

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