The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of groups and communities i.e. Regional Australians, Indigenous Australians and International Health
Inequality in heart disease
The term “disadvantage” or “inequalities in health” has many definitions but all are consistent with the following definition - individuals, patient groups and/or communities in whom risk factors and/or rates of heart disease are elevated, leading to increased disability and premature mortality due to external factors beyond an individual’s/communities’ control.
From high income countries such as the UK and Australia to lower income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, key differentials in health outcomes persist. Indeed, there are global efforts to highlight societal responsibility to provide effective and sustainable health care to the entire population and not to selected parts. Although the same “drivers” of heart disease are common to most regions the burden of disease is complicated by differential patterns according to the ethnic, socio-economic circumstances and geographic location of individuals and communities alike.
There are a number of groups who are disadvantaged by a combination of inherent risk, circumstance and limited treatment options/health care resources. The CRE to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease has four research streams that reflect the challenge of ensuring “equal hearts for all” in these disadvantaged groups, from primary prevention to chronic disease management of those already affected by heart disease.
Four Key Research Streams
Our research focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of the following groups and communities:
|Regional Australians: in whom differentials in risk and disease outcomes related to metabolic disorders and subsequent development of heart disease are high, often in the context of limited health care resources relative to metropolitan regions.|
Indigenous Australians: in whom health disparities (including elevated morbidity and premature mortality) are profound compared to non-Indigenous Australians. A particular focus of the CRE will be the communities of Central Australia.
Older individuals with chronic heart disease: in whom treatment options are often limited by the fine line between benefit and risk of treatment. These include older individuals with chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
International health / Individuals living in low-to-middle income countries: with limited health care resources that are overwhelmed by the diseases of poverty and a new epidemic of non-communicable disease. A particular focus of the CRE is sub-Saharan Africa.