The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is ageing at a much faster rate than the non-Indigenous population.
Aboriginal Australians record high mid-life rates of multiple chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke, lung disease, and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, for example, is more than twice as common in the Indigenous population than the non-Indigenous population.
Aboriginal Australians also experience higher rates of dementia in later life – three to four times the rates seen in non-Indigenous people.
There remains a life expectancy gap of around ten years between the Aboriginal population and the non-Indigenous population.
The poor Aboriginal health status when compared with the majority population reflects the persisting social, emotional and physical disadvantage experienced by the Aboriginal population. All of these factors relate to the long-term effects of intergenerational trauma.