Design and setting: Descriptive analysis of NSW Health data obtained from the Health Outcomes Information and Statistical Toolkit (HOIST) database. Hospitalisation data were collected for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2003. Mortality data were collected for the period 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2002.
Results: Rates of death from injury were higher for all age groups in the Indigenous population, except people older than 65 years. Indigenous people aged 25–44 years were twice as likely to be hospitalised as their non-Indigenous counterparts (rate ratio [RR], 2.09; 95% CI, 2.03–2.14), and five times as likely to be hospitalised for interpersonal violence (RR, 5.19; 95% CI, 4.98–5.40).
Conclusion: The higher rates of injury-related hospitalisation and death in the Indigenous population in NSW are consistent with data reported for other parts of Australia. Of particular concern is the number of Indigenous deaths and hospitalisations due to interpersonal violence.
- 1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s health 2004. Canberra: AIHW, 2004. (Catalogue No. AUS44.)
- 2. Strategic Injury Prevention Partnership. National injury prevention plan: priorities for 2001–2003. Canberra: Department of Health and Aged Care, 2001. (Catalogue No. 2918.)
- 3. NSW Department of Health. Aboriginal safety promotion strategy. Sydney: NSW Department of Health, 2003.
- 4. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council. National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: framework for action by governments. Canberra: NATSIHC, 2003.
- 5. Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Canberra: ABS and AIHW, 2003.
- 6. Population Health Division. The health of the people of NSW: report of the Chief Health Officer, 2004. Sydney: NSW Department of Health, 2004: 112, 340.
- 7. Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute for Health and Welfare. Hospital statistics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 1999–2000. ABS and AIHW, 2002. (ABS Catalogue No. 4711.0; AIHW Catalogue No. IHW 9.2002.)
- 8. Helps YLM, Harrison JE. Injury mortality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia 1997–2000. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2004.
- 9. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of population and housing. 2001 New South Wales (State 1) Indigenous profile. Canberra: ABS, 2002. (Catalogue No. 2002.0.)
- 10. Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Partnership. Mid North Coast Aboriginal injury surveillance project report: pride, respect and responsibility. Port Macquarie: Mid North Coast Area Health Service, 2001.
- 11. Royal T, Westley-Wise V. Shoalhaven Aboriginal injury surveillance and prevention project: phase 1 report. Wollongong: Illawarra Area Health Service, 2001: 9-10.
- 12. Western Sydney Area Health Service. Blacktown Local Government Area injury surveillance and prevention study. United we win. Westmead: WSAHS, 2003: 12-13,30.
- 13. World Health Organization. International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems. 10th revision (ICD-10). Geneva: WHO, 1992.
- 14. Harrison J, Miller E, Weeramanthri T, et al. Information sources for injury prevention among Indigenous Australians: status and prospects for improvements. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2001: 29.
- 15. Moller J, Thompson N, Brooks J. Injury prevention activity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Vol. 1. Current status and future directions. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2004. (RFT129/0102.)
- 16. Stevenson M, Wallace L, Harrison J, et al. At risk in two worlds: injury mortality among Indigenous people in the US and Australia, 1990–92. Aust N Z J Public Health 1998; 22: 641-644.
- 17. Memmott P, Stacy R, Chambers C, Keys C. Violence in Indigenous communities: full report. Canberra: Crime Prevention Branch, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, 2001.
- 18. Blagg H, Ray D, Murray R, Macarthy E. Crisis intervention in Aboriginal family violence: strategies and models for Western Australia. Perth: Crime Research Centre, University of Western Australia, 2000.
- 19. Gordon S, Hallahan K, Henry D. Putting the picture together. Inquiry into the response by government agencies to complaints of family violence and child abuse in Aboriginal communities. Perth: Department of Premier and Cabinet, 2002.
- 20. Bringing them home: national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997.
- 21. Pointer S, Harrison J, Bradley C. National injury prevention plan priorities for 2004 and beyond: a discussion paper. Injury Research and Statistics Series No. 18. Adelaide: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2003. (AIHW Catalogue No. INJCAT 55.)
- 22. Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2001. Canberra: ABS and AIHW, 2001.
- 23. Stanley J, Tomison AM, Pocock J. Child abuse and neglect in Indigenous Australian communities. Child Abuse Prevention Issues Paper No. 19. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies, Spring 2003.
- 24. NSW Health Department. Better practice guidelines to improve the level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification in the NSW Public Health System. Sydney: NSW Health Department, 2000. (State health Publication No. [CSP] 980163.)
- 25. Clapham K. Injury prevention activity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Vol. II. Programs, projects and actions. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2004. (RFT129/0102.)
- 26. Injury prevention for indigenous children is focus for new study. The George Institute for International Health. Sydney: The George Institute, 2005. Available at: http://www.thegeorgeinstitute.org/iih/media-and-publications/latest-news/injury-prevention-for-indigenous-children-is-focus-for-new-study.cfm (accessed Jan 2006).
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.