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1.  Prevalence and validity of self-reported smoking in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults in the Australian Northern Territory 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):861.
Background
In this study, we used data from Australia’s Northern Territory to assess differences in self-reported smoking prevalence between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. We also used urinary cotinine data to assess the validity of using self-reported smoking data in these populations.
Methods
The Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) is a prospective study of 686 Aboriginal babies born in Darwin 1987–90. The Top End Cohort (TEC) is a study of non-Indigenous adolescents, all born in Darwin 1987–91. In both studies, participants aged between 16 and 21 years, were asked whether they smoked. Urinary cotinine measurements were made from samples taken at the same visits.
Results
Self-reported smoking prevalence was 68% in the ABC and 14% in the TEC. Among the self-reported non-smokers, the median cotinine levels were higher in the ABC (33 ng/ml) than in the TEC (5 ng/ml), with greater percentages of reported non-smokers in the under 50 ng/ml group in the TEC than in the ABC
Conclusions
Prevalence of smoking was much higher in the ABC than in the TEC. The higher cotinine levels in ABC non-smokers may reflect an underestimated prevalence, but is also likely to reflect higher levels of passive smoking. A broader approach encompassing social, cultural and language factors with increased attention to smoking socialisation factors is required.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-861
PMCID: PMC4153984  PMID: 25141772
Cigarette smoking; Validation; Cotinine; Aboriginal Australians; Passive smoking
2.  Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort study: follow-up processes at 20 years 
Background
In 1987, a prospective study of an Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort was established focusing on the relationships of fetal and childhood growth with the risk of chronic adult disease. However as the study is being conducted in a highly marginalized population it is also an important resource for cross-sectional descriptive and analytical studies. The aim of this paper is to describe the processes of the third follow up which was conducted 20 years after recruitment at birth.
Methods
Progressive steps in a multiphase protocol were used for tracing, with modifications for the expected rural or urban location of the participants.
Results
Of the original 686 cohort participants recruited 68 were untraced and 27 were known to have died. Of the 591 available for examination 122 were not examined; 11 of these were refusals and the remainder were not seen for logistical reasons relating to inclement weather, mobility of participants and single participants living in very remote locations.
Conclusion
The high retention rate of this follow-up 20 years after birth recruitment is a testament to the development of successful multiphase protocols aimed at overcoming the challenges of tracing a cohort over a widespread remote area and also to the perseverance of the study personnel. We also interpret the high retention rate as a reflection of the good will of the wider Aboriginal community towards this study and that researchers interactions with the community were positive. The continued follow-up of this life course study now seems feasible and there are plans to trace and reexamine the cohort at age 25 years.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-23
PMCID: PMC2761846  PMID: 19775475

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