4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/10/2005   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer greater ill-health, are more likely to experience disability and reduced quality of life and to die at younger ages, than other Australians (AIHW 2002c). In the period 1996-2001, the life expectancy at birth was estimated at 59 years for Indigenous males and 65 years for Indigenous females, well below the 77 years for all Australian males and 82 years for all Australian females in 1998-2000 (ABS 2002b).

The Indigenous population is disadvantaged across a range of socioeconomic conditions that affect health outcomes, such as income, employment, educational outcomes and housing (see Chapters 2, 3 and 4). In addition, risks to health such as smoking, obesity (based on Body Mass Index (BMI)), alcohol misuse and exposure to violence are important determinants of health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (see Chapter 8).

This chapter draws on information from a number of data collections and provides an overview of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Information is included for a range of conditions that cause significant morbidity and mortality among Indigenous Australians. While some information is available on each of these conditions, the quality and completeness of the data are often unknown and may vary between jurisdictions and between different data sources. Many of the rates of illness reported in this Chapter are likely to be underestimates of the true rates of illness in the Indigenous population because of the under-identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in these data collections.

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