34 research outputs found

    Long-term trends in Indigenous deaths from chronic diseases in the Northern Territory: a foot on the brake, a foot on the accelerator

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    Objective: To examine trends in Northern Territory Indigenous mortality from chronic diseases other than cancer. Design: A comparison of trends in rates of mortality from six chronic diseases (ischaemic heart disease [IHD], chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], cerebrovascular disease [CVD], diabetes mellitus [DM], renal failure [RF] and rheumatic heart disease [RHD]) in the NT Indigenous population with those of the total Australian population. Participants: NT Indigenous and total Australian populations, 1977–2001. Main outcome measures: Estimated average annual change in chronic disease mortality rates and in mortality rate ratios. Results: DeathratesfromIHDandDMamongNTIndigenouspeoplesincreased between 1977 and 2001, but this increase slowed after 1990. Death rates from COPD rose before 1990, but fell thereafter. There were non-significant declines in death rates from CVD and RHD. Mortality rates from RF rose in those aged 50 years. The ratios of mortality rates for NT Indigenous to total Australian populations from these chronic diseases increased throughout the period. Conclusions: Mortality rates from IHD and DM in the NT Indigenous population have been increasing since 1977, but there is evidence of a slower rise (or even a fall) in death rates in the 1990s. These early small changes give reason to hope that some improvements (possibly in medical care) have been putting the brakes on chronic disease mortality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

    Skin infection, housing and social circumstances in children living in remote Indigenous communities: testing conceptual and methodological approaches

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    BACKGROUND: Poor housing conditions in remote Indigenous communities in Australia are a major underlying factor in poor child health, including high rates of skin infections. The aim of this study is to test approaches to data collection, analysis and feedback for a follow-up study of the impact of housing conditions on child health. METHODS: Participation was negotiated in three communities with community councils and individual participants. Data were collected by survey of dwelling condition, interviews, and audit health centre records of children aged under seven years. Community feedback comprised immediate report of items requiring urgent repair followed by a summary descriptive report. Multivariate models were developed to calculate adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR) for skin infections and their association with aspects of household infrastructure. RESULTS: There was a high level of participation in all communities. Health centre records were inadequate for audit in one community. The records of 138 children were available for development of multivariate analytic models. Rates of skin infection in dwellings that lacked functioning facilities for removing faeces or which had concrete floors may be up to twice as high as for other dwellings, and the latter association appears to be exacerbated by crowding. Younger children living in older dwellings may also be at approximately two-fold higher risk. A number of socioeconomic and socio-demographic variables also appear to be directly associated with high rates of skin infections. CONCLUSION: The methods used in the pilot study were generally feasible, and the analytic approach provides meaningful results. The study provides some evidence that new and modern housing is contributing to a reduction in skin infections in Aboriginal children in remote communities, particularly when this housing leads to a reduction in crowding and the effective removal of human waste

    Health Gains Planning - fact sheet : Northern Territory demography, 2015

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    This fact sheet provides an overview of the Northern Territory demography in 201