Reviewing publicly available reports on child health disparities in Indigenous and remote communities of Australia

Kedir Y Ahmed, Julaine Allan, Hazel Dalton, Adrian Sleigh, Sam-Ang Seubsman, Allen G Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Developing programs that ensure a safe start to life for Indigenous children can lead to better health outcomes. To create effective strategies, governments must have accurate and up-to-date information. Accordingly, we reviewed the health disparities of Australian children in Indigenous and remote communities using publicly available reports. A thorough search was performed on Australian government and other organisational websites (including the Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW]), electronic databases [MEDLINE] and grey literature sites for articles, documents and project reports related to Indigenous child health outcomes. The study showed Indigenous dwellings had higher rates of crowding when compared to non-Indigenous dwellings. Smoking during pregnancy, teenage motherhood, low birth weight and infant and child mortality were higher among Indigenous and remote communities. Childhood obesity (including central obesity) and inadequate fruit consumption rates were also higher in Indigenous children, but Indigenous children from remote and very remote areas had a lower rate of obesity. Indigenous children performed better in physical activity compared to non-Indigenous children. No difference was observed in vegetable consumption rates, substance-use disorders or mental health conditions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Future interventions for Indigenous children should focus on modifiable risk factors, including unhealthy housing, perinatal adverse health outcomes, childhood obesity, poor dietary intake, physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5959
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Early online dateMay 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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