Indigenous Health

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Indigenous Australians Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: May 12, 2009

The Health of today’s Indigenous Australians is burdened with chronic and communicable disease, infant mortality and morbidity, substance misuse, poor nutrition, emotional distress, increased hospitalization, lower levels of access to health care, and are at a greater socio-economic disadvantage than other Australians. This has become a national health priority as the decline in health in Indigenous Australians has led to a more than seventeen year gap in life expectancy than other Australians. Indigenous Australians suffer from many preventative diseases, illnesses and disabilities at a greater rate than other Australians. Cardiovascular disease is the largest contributor to the disparity in health experienced by Indigenous Australians, it is also the leading cause of death among Indigenous Australians, with a death rate nearly three times that for non-Indigenous Australians (as cited in Penm, 2008). Coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, heart failure and hypertension are the main cardiovascular conditions that contribute to this burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(Penm, 2008). Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are also major cardiovascular conditions among Indigenous Australians (Penm, 2008). Many preventable risks factors for CVD include smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, risky alcohol consumption, hypertension, overweight and obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease (Penm, 2008). In addition socioeconomic disadvantage and psychosocial factors such as depression and social isolation, and lack of social support have also been recognized as risk factors for CVD (as cited in Penm, 2008). Many Indigenous Australians face social inequalities which have lead to the widespread disparity in health between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians making this health issue a major primary health concern. A leaflet has been prepared as the main choice of medium for educational purposes as it is a small...
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