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Determinants of Atsi

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    The health of ATSI people is impacted on by the sociocultural, socioeconomic and environmental determinants that relate to them. Sociocultural factors; ATSI cultures have a tendency to have less access to media exposure, which means they receive less health promotion. Without this vital information it can become difficult to change past habits, continuing the increase of health issues. ATSI families also may not have settled well into the non-indigenous lifestyle, often resulting in alcohol and drug abuse.

    Statistics show Indigenous Australian adults are more than twice as likely to smoke as non-Indigenous Australians and 8% are considered to have high risk level of dangerous alcohol consumption compared to 3% respectively. Some families also insist on traditional medical treatment rather than modern healthcare which also leads to increased morbidity and mortality rates. Socioeconomic factors; Many ATSI people find it hard to access health care, education and basic needs such as healthy food because of a lack of employment. Statistics show that 54% of the ATSI population are unemployed.

    This presents a major problem as they cannot access healthy foods which then invites diseases such as CVD, scurvy and diabetes. They also struggle to get technology such as the internet which is a vital source for information and health promotion. In many families the main income is spent on alcohol or drugs causing further health problems amongst the population. Environmental Factors; Many factors in the environment affect the health of ATSI people. ATSI make up 45% of people living in remote areas which means their water supply is greatly affected by drought and the sun exposure can cause diseases such as skin cancer.

    Children in ATSI families are more likely to report abusive families than children from non-ATSI families. This is often the result of drug addictions and can cause physical, mental and behavioural issues. Overall the factors that affect the ATSI population, increasing the rates of disease and injury, are largely preventable, making them a priority population group in Australia. This identification of the disadvantages of ATSI can help authorities indentify priority health issues.

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