State of Environment

Indicator 49 - Medical consultations per person year

Index: Description | Data | Custodian evaluation | Related resources | Parameters

Description

Indicator Definition
The rates of illness and injury per 1000 person years in all continental
Antarctic stations and Macquarie Island.


Responsible organisation

Australian Antarctic Division ( Australia )

Custodians

No custodians.

Theme area

Human Settlements

Indicator type

Condition

Criteria the indicator satisfies

The following 10 out of 15 criteria

2. Reflect a fundamental or highly-valued aspect of the environment or an important environmental issue
3. Be either national in scope or applicable to regional environmental issues of national significance
4. Provide an early warning of potential problems
5. Be capable of being monitored to provide statistically verifiable and reproducible data that shows trends over time and, preferably, apply to a broad range of environmental regions
6. Be scientifically credible
8. Be monitored with relative ease
9. Be cost-effective
10. Have relevance to policy and management needs
12. Where possible and appropriate, facilitate community involvement
14. Where possible and appropriate, use existing commercial and managerial indicators

For details of indicators, see the State of Environment Bibliography entries 16336 and 16337

Date input

Monthly measurements

Monitoring location

Geographic coverage

Rationale For Indicator Selection
Human health can be an indicator of the natural and man-made environment. Some
of the factors affecting human health can be directly related to the quality
of the environment. Monitoring the rate of medical consultations in Antarctica
can provide useful baseline information on illness and injury rates, and
potentially provide insight into health trends due to Antarctic conditions.


In Antarctica the man-made environment is of particular importance due to the
highly adverse nature of the natural environment and as a surrogate for the
isolation of outer space. Without dwellings and support structures human
habitation of Antarctica would be impossible. The interaction between people
and the natural environment is also worthy of attention. The rate of various
injuries and illnesses can be attributed, at least in part, to the severe
conditions present in the Antarctic. Antarctica also provides useful data on
the effects of isolated and confined environments (ICE) on human health.


There are some straightforward examples of direct relationships between
environmental factors and human health. However, multiple causation and the
complexity of mediating processes mean that it is typically difficult to
relate specific 'environmental' inputs to particular health outcomes.


Design and Strategy For Indicator Monitoring Program
Spatial scale: Australian Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations


Frequency: Monthly figures reported annually


Measurement Technique: Time series information to determine trends in medical
consultations. Information was obtained from the ANARE Health Register. See
Metadata record entitled ANARE Health Register.


Research Issues
Due to the unique nature of the environment and the expeditioners residing in
Antarctica, comparison with similar groups elsewhere would be valuable.


The database has reached sufficient size to justify closer analysis of data
that may discern trends in health and provide a better picture of the effects
of the Antarctic environment. Trends may not be obvious and may have a
considerable impact on human activities in the Antarctic.


Does the presence of people and potential pathogens influence the rate of
disease among populations of Antarctic wildlife?


Data

Temporal range of the available data, as described by the metadata record, is from 01-Jan-000 .

Timespan
October-1986 to December-2008
Number of data points
3546

To view or download any of the data, you must be logged in

Data quality, interpretation and analysis of indicator data

Data usage constraints

' This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). '

Data access constraints

' These data are publicly available for download from the URL given below. '

Custodian evaluation

21 May 2002

In the timespan January 1993 to December 2001 the following Overall Illness Rates were recorded for each station:

Heard Island 2503 illnesses per 1000 person years

Mawson 2777 illnesses per 1000 person years

Davis 2825 illnesses per 1000 person years

Casey 2916 illnesses per 1000 person years

Macquarie Island 3383 illnesses per 1000 person years

For the same timespan the following Overall Injury Rates were recorded for each station:

Heard Island 1460 injuries per 1000 person years

Mawson 2199 injuries per 1000 person years

Davis 2044 injuries per 1000 person years

Casey 2309 injuries per 1000 person years

Macquarie Island 2647 injuries per 1000 person years

The graphs of Illness and Injury Rates at each station show major fluctuations from month to month. Much of this fluctuation can be attributed to small sample size at each location.

No significant long-term trends are evident for either the Illness Rate or the Injury Rate.

7 Nov 2002

Condition scale - 4 - fair condition
1 - the environment degraded to the point where rehabilitation is impossible
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - the environment is pristine, in perfect condition, no anthropogenic influences
State of Knowledge scale - 5
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

4 Oct 2004

All Station and Ships Injury and Illness rates have been added to this indicator in October 2004. This data is collated from the ANARE Health register(ASAC 12) and reflects overall health events as logged from medical consultations on a monthly basis at all locations. Monthly fluctuations are evident which may be attributed to small sample populations and characteristics of the medical services and reporting. The severity of health events reported may range from trivial to serious. There appears to be a longer term decreasing trend in health events from the early 90's to the millenium and a steeper decreasing trend in health events in the period 2001-2004 towards favorable levels.

Condition scale - 5
1 - the environment degraded to the point where rehabilitation is impossible
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - the environment is pristine, in perfect condition, no anthropogenic influences
State of Knowledge scale - 6
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

For definitions of the Scale categories, consult the Explanation of the Status Categories

Related resources


Project 12 - ANARE health register [observational]
Scientific Bibliography 17251 - Sullivan, P. and Gormly, P. (1999) The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Health Register. From: The 6th Annual Conference Proceedings of National Centre for Classification in Health, pp36-43. National Centre for Classification in Health, Lidcombe.
Scientific Bibliography 17252 - Sullivan, P., Gormly, P.J., Lugg, D.J., Watts, D.W. (1991) The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Health Register: Three Years of Operation In Postl B, et al eds. Circumpolar Health 90, pp 502-504. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.
SOE Indicator 47 - Number and nature of incidents resulting in environmental impact
SOE Indicator 48 - Station and ship person days
SOE Indicator 54 - Amount of waste incinerated at Australian Antarctic Stations

Parameters

The properties link can be used to view details of the parameters measured for this indicator.

Parameter Name Unit of measure Properties
Illness rate consultations/person year Properties
Injury rate consultations/ person year Properties

The following parameters and/or sensor notes are from the metadata record.

Parameters

EARTH SCIENCE > HUMAN DIMENSIONS > PUBLIC HEALTH > ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH FACTORS
EARTH SCIENCE > HUMAN DIMENSIONS > PUBLIC HEALTH > MORBIDITY

Related URLs

http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=SOE_medical_consultations
Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset

http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/portal/download_file.cfm?file_id=1272
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre

http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/portal/download_file.cfm?file_id=873
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre