Lower respiratory infections in Australian Indigenous children

Kerry-Ann O'Grady, Anne Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite Australia being one of the wealthiest countries of the world, Australian Indigenous children have a health status and social circumstance comparable to developing countries. Indigenous infants have 10 times the mortality rate for respiratory conditions. The lower respiratory infection (LRI) rate in Australian Indigenous children is at least as high as that of children in developing countries; the frequency of hospitalisations of Indigenous infants is triple that of non-Indigenous Australian infants (201.7 vs. 62.6/1000, respectively). While Indigenous Australian children have many risk factors for LRIs described in developing countries, there is little specific data, and hence, evidence-based intervention points are yet to be identified. Efficacy of conjugate vaccines for common bacterial causes of pneumonia has been less marked in Indigenous children than that documented overseas. Gaps in the management and prevention of disease are glaring. Given the burden of LRI in Indigenous children and the association with long-term respiratory dysfunction, LRIs should be addressed as a matter of priority. � 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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