Latisha Coleman of Rockhampton can't give up smoking.    Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Latisha Coleman of Rockhampton can't give up smoking. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK290512scig5

Under the microscope: State of CQ health revealed

AS Central Queensland's population rises, a new report has revealed just how healthy our residents really are.

The bi-annual Report of the Chief Health Officer of Queensland shows mixed results for CQ over the past two years.

While smoking rates have declined and more kids are active, obesity figures are growing in the region, as are tooth decay hospitalisations.

The Health of Queenslanders 2018 report, which was released this week, showed a 3 per cent decrease in the local smoking rate.


Dropping off from 17 per cent in 2016, the report shows 14 per cent of adults in Central Queensland smoke daily, which is higher than the stage average of 11 per cent.

Figures also revealed that 17 per cent of women in the region smoked during their pregnancy in 2016.

CQ Health Chief Executive Steve Williamson said 25,000 adults smoked on a daily basis, and the decrease from 29,000 smokers in 2016 will save the lives of about 2600 Central Queensland residents.

"We all know that smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease, increasing the risk of lung cancer, COPD, and coronary heart disease," he said.

Another positive to come from the report shows 54 per cent of children in CQ are more active than average, which is above the state average of 43 per cent.


Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services new Chief Executive Steve Williamson
CQHH Services chief executive Steve Williamson. Rockhampton Hospital

The number for adults is slightly higher at 56 per cent, which sits under the state average of 60 per cent.

Stemming from those numbers, figures show 32 per cent of Central Queenslanders - or 57,000 people - are obese, which is up from 28 percent in 2016.

Sitting above the state average of 59 per cent, 66 per cent of adults in CQ are overweight.

The report also shows that 285 children need hospital treatment every year in the region due to tooth decay.

The report also suggests the region will see strong projections for population growth in the next eight years with an estimated 25 per cent population growth by 2026.

In the Central West region, there were 5,321 hospitalisations from 2016 to 2017, with 684 of those graded as potentially avoidable.

The region's Hospital and Health System was ranked highest out of 15 HHS regions in the state for the percentage of hospitalisations that were preventable.

Close to 2,000, adults smoked daily during 2017 and 2018, with 13 per cent of pregnant woman saying they smoked during their term in 2016.