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Are there health benefits from improving basic nutrition in a remote Aboriginal community?

Australian Family Physician
Volume 35 Issue 6 (2006 Jun)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Otitis media, chronic suppurative otitis media, and skin infections are common in many Aboriginal communities. METHOD: Primary school students in a remote Aboriginal community were examined by blood testing. Audiometry was compared before and 6 months after children were provided with fresh fruit each school day, as were rates of skin infections, and the prescription of antibiotics for otitis media and skin infections. RESULTS: All 12 students who completed both points of hearing testing had slight or greater hearing loss at baseline. Five had improved hearing at 6 months and seven (58%) had no change. Mean antibiotic prescriptions decreased from seven to 1 per month. All 15 tested had low serum vitamin C concentrations and 11 had abnormal iron studies, suggesting their poor health might be caused by poor nutrition. DISCUSSION: Although many other factors may have contributed to the improvements, the results suggest nutrition as a possible factor for poor health outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities, which could be easily overcome. A randomised trial should be conducted. (author abstract)

To cite this article: Jones, R and Smith, F. Are there health benefits from improving basic nutrition in a remote Aboriginal community? [online]. Australian Family Physician, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2006 Jun: 453-4. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=363014213856407;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 0300-8495. [cited 09 Feb 16].

Personal Author: Jones, R; Smith, F; Source: Australian Family Physician, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2006 Jun: 453-4 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0300-8495 Subject: Rural health; Aboriginal Australians; Affiliation: (1) Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Service, Grafton, NSW drrayjones@bigpond.com

Database: Health Collection