Respiratory Health

The respiratory system includes all the parts of the body involved with breathing, including the nose, throat, larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe) and lungs [18495]. Respiratory disease occurs if any of these parts of the body are damaged or diseased and breathing is affected. Common types of respiratory disease include colds and similar viral infections, asthma, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Around one-third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have some type of respiratory condition [26842]. The most common respiratory condition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is asthma, which is nearly twice as common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.

According to the most recent statistics, respiratory diseases were responsible for 8% of the total burden of disease (impact of a disease on a population) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people [32052]. Chronic lower respiratory disease (which includes asthma, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, emphysema and COPD) was the third leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people [32081]. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die from respiratory disease at a higher rate than non-Indigenous people, but the gap has closed over recent decades [29647].

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Bardil by Hughie Brent

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.
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