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

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

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