Death rate cut in Aboriginal infants linked to later illness

Adam Cresswell; 4/1/10

Huge reductions in Aboriginal infant mortality rates achieved in recent decades may have had the unintended effect of increasing rates of chronic illnesses in adults. Australian experts who studied trends in birth-weight and health outcomes from the 1950s to 1980s found that many underweight babies who would have died at, or shortly after, birth in the first half of the 20th century were now increasingly likely to survive. While they applauded this improvement, they said it might also explain the soaring rates of problems such as diabetes in indigenous populations – and warned the phenomenon might persist for decades to come.