A cross-sectional survey of environmental health in remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

S.M. Melody, E. Bennett, H.D. Clifford, F.H. Johnston, Carrington Shepherd, Z. Alach, M. Lester, Lisa Wood, Peter Franklin, G.R. Zosky

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:
The Australian Aboriginal population experiences significantly poorer health than the non-Aboriginal population. The contribution of environmental risk factors in remote communities to this health disparity is poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE:
To describe and quantify major environmental risk factors and associated health outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
METHODS:
The association between environmental health indicators, community infrastructure and reported health outcomes was analysed using linear and logistic regression of survey data.
RESULTS:
Housing/overcrowding was significantly associated with increased reports of hearing/eyesight (OR 3.01 95 % CI 1.58-5.73), skin (OR 2.71 95 % CI 1.31-5.60), gastrointestinal (OR 3.51 95 % CI 1.49-8.26) and flu/colds (OR 2.47 95 % CI 1.27-4.78) as health concerns. Dust was significantly associated with hearing/eyesight (OR 3.16 95 % CI 1.82-5.48), asthma/respiratory (OR 2.48 95 % CI 1.43-4.29) and flu/colds (OR 3.31 95 % CI 1.88-5.86) as health concerns.
CONCLUSION:
Poor environmental health is prevalent in remote Aboriginal communities and requires further delineation to inform environmental health policy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1080/09603123.2016.1194384
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages535
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Volume26
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Melody, S. M., Bennett, E., Clifford, H. D., Johnston, F. H., Shepherd, C., Alach, Z., ... Zosky, G. R. (2016). A cross-sectional survey of environmental health in remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26(5-6), 525-535. [10.1080/09603123.2016.1194384]. https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2016.1194384