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The quality of health research for young Indigenous Australians: systematic review

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There are major incentives to invest in the health of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who are adolescent or young (used interchangeably throughout this article to refer to 10–24-year-olds).1 An estimated 31.7% of Indigenous Australians were aged 10–24 years in 2006, compared with 20.4% of the non-Indigenous population,2 and they experience an excess burden of preventable and treatable disease at a life stage when opportunities for education, employment, reproduction and independent living are at their peak.3 Births to Indigenous teenagers represent about one-fifth of all births to Australian Indigenous women;4 Indigenous young people have high rates of risk factors for the development of non-communicable diseases in adulthood (eg, obesity, tobacco-related disease);3 and the mortality gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians widens during adolescence and persists into adulthood.57 Indeed, improving young people’s health would appear to be critical to the success of the government’s National Indigenous Reform Agreement,8