Epidemiologic Profile of the Indigenous People in Australia
To analyse the current demographic and health conditions prevalent among the Indigenous people of Australia and, where possible, to compare them with corresponding national data.
The 2012-13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey and the 2011-12 National Health Survey have been used. Both surveys were based on probability samples representing the Indigenous and the total population respectively.
Among the lifestyle factors affecting health, smoking was much more prevalent among the Indigenous people; 42.9% of them were current smokers compared to 17.7% nationally. Also alcohol consumption among the Indigenous communities was nearly double compared to the national average. Nearly one-in-three of the Indigenous people were suffering from high/very high stress levels compared to one-in-ten of the national population.
In nine out of the 16 ICD groups, the prevalence rates among the Indigenous people were higher than the total population. The three most common conditions for Indigenous population were the diseases of eye and adnexa, respiratory and circulatory systems. Close to one-in-three Indigenous persons aged 15 or over were suffering from either a cardiovascular diseases (17.8%), and/or diabetes (11.7%), and/or kidney disease (2.3%). When compared to the national data, the prevalence of diabetes and kidney diseases among the Indigenous was about two-fold while the cardiovascular diseases were slightly less prevalent among the Indigenous people.
Despite the governmental efforts to bridge the socio-epidemiologic gap between the Indigenous and rest of the Australian community, progress is rather slow - it needs to be accelerated