May 23, 2024
Revolutionary Chemical Probe

Addressing the Root Causes of Chronic Lung Diseases in Indigenous Populations: A Pre-Conception Approach

A team of researchers led by Professor Anne Chang from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is advocating for a proactive approach to prevent high rates of chronic respiratory diseases (CRD) among Indigenous Peoples around the world. The framework proposed by the team emphasizes the significance of addressing the underlying causes of CRD during pre-conception.

Professor Chang, an expert in childhood respiratory diseases from the QUT School of Public Health and Social Work and the Australian Center for Health Services Innovation, emphasized the importance of this framework for Indigenous Populations, who face a disproportionate burden of risk factors for CRD. These risk factors include low birthweight, prematurity, poor nutrition, exposure to air pollution, high infection rates, and poverty.

In Australia, for instance, a 2023 report revealed that 29% of Indigenous Australians reported having CRD, and their hospitalization rate for respiratory-related issues was 2.4 times higher than that of non-Indigenous Australians. Chronic cough is common among Indigenous children and is linked to poorer future lung function. However, optimally managing these conditions can significantly improve their quality of life.

Suboptimal management of CRDs like asthma and bronchiectasis during childhood increases the risks of poorer future lung function, recurrent exacerbations, hospitalizations, and impaired quality of life in both children and adults. The growing recognition of the importance of respiratory health in preventing future cardiovascular morbidity and mortality underscores the need to improve respiratory health, which leads to overall health gains.

Professor Chang and her team’s framework aim to provide a global roadmap for addressing the drivers of CRD, with a particular focus on Indigenous Populations. The strategies outlined in the framework are essential for everyone but are especially critical for Indigenous Populations, who face a higher risk of developing CRD. By addressing these risk factors during pre-conception, the team hopes to reduce the prevalence of CRD and improve the overall health and well-being of Indigenous Populations.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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