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Health services use and lifestyle choices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians



Health services use and lifestyle choices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians



Social Science and Medicine 84: 1-12



In many countries, the health outcomes of Indigenous populations are far worse than those of non-Indigenous populations. Two possible reasons for these differences are poor lifestyle choices and a lack of access to health services when ill. This paper uses Australian data on 17,449 adults, which was collected in the National Health Survey 2004-05 and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2004-05, to examine whether Indigenous Australians make different lifestyle choices and health services use than non-Indigenous Australians. After controlling for a range of observable characteristics, it is found that Indigenous Australian are more likely to make poorer lifestyle choices, but are more likely to use health services than non-Indigenous Australians. There is evidence that these results are magnified for Indigenous Australians who live in remote areas. As the lifestyle choices of Indigenous Australians are so different from those of non-Indigenous Australians, the payoff from policies aimed at changing these choices is likely to be large both in terms of the efficient use of the health budget and more importantly in terms of health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

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Accession: 036774493

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23517698

DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.02.013


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