Overview

There are many aspects of the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians where significant improvements are continuing or emerging. But significant gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians remain. This disadvantage, or the 'gap' between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, starts from birth and continues throughout life.

Latest findings

Reducing exposure to modifiable risk factors would prevent 37% of the burden of disease in Indigenous Australians The prevalence of active trachoma among 5–9 year olds in at risk communities fell from 14% in 2009 to 4.6% in 2015 Indigenous Australians experienced burden 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians 3 times as many older Indigenous Australians suffer vision impairment or blindness as non-Indigenous Australians 3 highest ranked disease were coronary heart disease, suicide & self-inflicted injuries and anxiety disorders Tobacco use accounted for 23% of the gap in burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians The Indigenous hospitalisation rate for cataract surgery rose by over 40% in the last 10 years 19% of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians was due to cardiovascular diseases and 14% to injuries Leading causes of vision impairment were refractive error (63%), cataract (20%) and diabetic retinopathy (5.5%) 5% decrease in the age-standardised rate of total burden in the Indigenous population between 2003 and 2011 Numbers and rates of employed optometrists were highest in Major cities and low in Remote and Very remote areas Median waiting times for cataract surgery were longer for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians In 2014–15 more Indigenous Australians received an eye examination than in the previous twelve months Mental & substance use disorders, such as anxiety, depression and alcohol use disorders, caused 19% of the burden 1 in 9 Indigenous Australians over the age of 40 suffer from vision impairment or blindness Chronic diseases were responsible for 70% of the total health gap in 2011

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Highlights