Health conditions in older people

Some health conditions are much more common in older people.

For many of these health conditions, Māori have higher rates than people of other ethnicities.

Prevalence of certain health conditions by age

Graph showing the percentage of people in different age groups with new cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic pain and arthritis. All conditions are more prevalent with age, although diabetes peaks in the 65–74 year age group, and drops after that, and obesity peaks in the 55–64 year old age groups, drops a little for 65–74 year olds, and drops more for those 75 and over. For new cancer, it is nearly 0% in 15–54 year olds, 1% for 55–64 year olds, and 2% for those 65 and over. For stroke, it is nearly 0% for 15–44 year olds, 1% for 45–54 year olds, 2% for 55–64 year olds, 3% for 65–74 year olds, and 8% for those 75 or over. For diabetes, it is 1% for 15–34 year olds, 2% for 35–44 year olds, 6% for 45–54 year olds, 11% for 55–64 year olds, 15% for 65–74 year olds, and 15% (but visibly lower) for those 75 and over. For heart disease, it is nearly 0% for 15–34 year olds, 1% for 35–44 year olds, 3% for 45–54 year olds, 6% for 55–64 year olds, 13% for 65–74 year olds, and 21% for those 75 and over. For obesity, it is 20% for 15–24 year olds, 27% for 25–34 year olds, 33% for 35–44 year olds, 36% for 45–54 year olds, 38% for 55–64 year olds, 37% for 65–74 year olds, and 25% for those 75 and over. For chronic pain, it is 7% for 15–24 year olds, 12% for 25–34 year olds, 15% for 35–44 year olds, 24% for 45–55 year olds, 32% for 65–74 year olds, and 36% for those 75 and over. And for arthritis, it is 1% for 15–24 year olds, 3% for 25–34 year olds, 6% for 35–44 year olds, 16% for 45–54 year olds, 27% for 55–64 year olds, 44% for 65–74 year olds, and 54% for those 75 and over.
Source:Ministry of Health, Annual Update of Key Results 2014/15: New Zealand Health Survey and Cancer: New registrations and deaths 2012

Ratio of Māori to non-Māori prevalence for people aged 50 and over

Graph showing rates of new cancer, heart disease, obesity, chronic pain and arthritis for Māori compared to non-Māori. For new cancer, rates are 1.3 times higher than for non-Māori. For heart disease, rates are 1.6 times higher. For obesity, they are 1.7 times higher. And for chronic pain and arthritis, they are 1.2 times higher.
Note: For stroke and diabetes, data was not available at the time of publication
Source: Ministry of Health, unpublished data, New Zealand Health Survey, 2013/14 to 2014/15, aged standardised to the Māori population; and Cancer: New registrations and deaths 2012, average of male and female Māori to non-Māori
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