Respiratory Health with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Closing the Gap

19 Oct 2022
07:00 PM - 09:00 PM


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Aboriginal health

Nearly one-third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a respiratory condition; with Asthma and COPD contributing to the highest burden of disease. Hospitalisation for Asthma and COPD exacerbations are higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders than for non-Aboriginal Australians. Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, COPD is responsible for two-thirds of respiratory deaths, and the asthma mortality rate is more than three times that of other Australians.


1. Australia Institute of Health and Welfare (2018). Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2018. Retrieved from:

2. Jenkins, C.R., Chang, A.B., Poulos, L.M., Marks, G.B. (2009). Asthma in Indigenous Australians: so much yet to do for Indigenous lung health. Med J Aust 2009; 190(10):530-531. Retrieved from:

3. Basnayake, T.L., Morgan, L.C., Chang A.B. (2017). The global burden of respiratory infections in Indigenous children and adults: a review. Respirology, 22(8), 1518-1528. Retrieved from:

4. Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (2017). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework: 2017 report. Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved from: