Aboriginal health--current status

Aust N Z J Med. 1984 Oct;14(5):705-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.1984.tb05038.x.


An analysis of the limited available data confirms that the health status of Australia's Aborigines remains much worse than that of non-Aboriginal Australians. Despite significant improvements over the past decade Aboriginal fetal and infant mortality is still approximately three times that of non-Aborigines. Aboriginal life expectancy remains at least twenty years less than that of the total Australian population. Levels of Aboriginal hospitalisation have declined markedly, but remain well in excess of overall levels, particularly for infants and children. For Aborigines, the reduced overall impact of the communicable diseases has been balanced by a worsening of the "lifestyle" diseases, particularly hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus. Alcohol abuse plays an important role in these diseases, and in the level of accidents and violence amongst Aborigines. The current patterns require a reassessment of Aboriginal health priorities, with more attention being directed at the health problems of Aboriginal adults. Special Aboriginal health programs need to be expanded, and integrated with broad wide-ranging programs aimed at alleviating Aboriginal social inequality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Australia
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Ear Diseases / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gasoline
  • Health Status*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mouth Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group*
  • Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology


  • Gasoline