International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 295–304 | Cite as

Socioeconomic disparities in self-reported arthritis for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aged 18–64

Original Article



To examine socioeconomic disparities in arthritis among non-remote Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adults aged 18–64.


Weighted data on self-reported arthritis and several socioeconomic measures from two nationally representative surveys conducted in 2004–2005 were analysed using logistic regression.


Current diagnosed arthritis was more commonly reported by Indigenous than non-Indigenous people across all age groups. After adjusting for age and sex, arthritis was significantly more common among those of lower socioeconomic status (SES) in the non-Indigenous population for all SES variables examined. In the Indigenous population, associations between SES and arthritis were significant for household income and employment status, but not for education, post-school qualifications, home ownership, area-level disadvantage, or area of residence.


The SES disparities were less consistent in the Indigenous than the non-Indigenous population, and within the Indigenous population, they were less consistent for arthritis than those previously reported for diabetes among the same survey participants. Although some of the differences may be due to self-reporting of disease, these findings also suggest the potential salience of factors occurring across the SES spectrum, especially among Indigenous Australians.


Indigenous Australian Arthritis Socioeconomic status Health disparities 



I gratefully acknowledge the staff of the Australian Bureau of Statistics for a range of contributions, including the design and implementation of the NATSIHS and NHS, and the development and support of the Remote Area Data Laboratory. I also thank all NATSIHS and NHS participants; this study would not have been possible without them. This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship (#545200).

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menzies School of Health ResearchCharles Darwin UniversityCasuarinaAustralia

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