THE Grampians region has the highest rates of colorectal cancer and respiratory disease in Australia.
The Grampians Medicare Local averages 13.9 colorectal cancer cases per 100,000 people, compared to 11.3 statewide and just 10.9 nationally, and 31.4 respiratory disease cases per 100, compared to 27.3 statewide and 26.6 nationally.
The statistics were revealed in the Grampians Medicare Local Community Needs Analysis report released this week.
The Grampians region includes Ballan, Ballarat, Daylesford, Beaufort, Ararat, Maryborough, Stawell, St Arnaud, Edenhope, Warracknabeal, Hopetoun, Horsham, Kaniva and Nhill.
The report also shows a high prevalence of chronic diseases, including mental health, diabetes, cancers, particularly prostate, and respiratory system and musculoskeletal system diseases.
There are also high avoidable death rates from conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and injuries, high reported rates of fair or poor health and disability, and lower life expectancy rates for men compared to women.
Grampians Medicare Local chief executive officer Andrew McPherson said a proactive approach to health was needed.
“With a large proportion of the health needs of people in the region being preventable conditions, we will also focus on prevention education to enable residents to better take control over their own long-term health,” Mr McPherson said.
“We are committed to taking a proactive role in addressing the health needs of our community by working in collaboration with our key health partners, including the welfare sector, to ensure that the disadvantages of living in rural and regional areas are minimised.”