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
Sandra completed her undergraduate studies, B-Dietetics, at the University of Pretoria in 1992 with a postgraduate diploma in hospital dietetics (UP) in 1995. She has also completed a masters degree in rehabilitation, MPhil Rehab, at the University of Stellenbosch in 2010, with the title, ‘Food choices and macro- and micronutrient intake of Sowetans with heart failure’.
Sandra started working as a dietician at the Soweto Cardiovascular Research Unit and with the ‘Heart of Soweto Study’ (HOS) in 2006. In 2007, she completed a pilot study as part of the HOS study, investigating the food choices of 50 consecutive patients presenting with heart failure, conducted at the heart failure clinic, at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Data from this study has been presented at ‘SA Heart Congress (2007)’, an abstract published in the ‘SAMJ (2007) and the results have since been written up and published in the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa (CVJA), 2011. Sandra's masters research thesis evolved from this, describing the food choices and macro- and micronutrient intake of 100 randomised Sowetans with heart failure, who visited the cardiology clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
In 2009, she initiated a ‘Heart Failure Management Program’ as part of the HOS. The aim of this program is to develop a specific, culturally appropriate and affordable management program for people living with heart failure in Soweto. Sandra was part of the HOS Outreach Project in Soweto where we established a broader out-reach program for African teenagers, focusing our research and education around a particular vulnerable group: African teenagers with poor knowledge of an affordable and culturally acceptable healthy lifestyle, as well as adults at primary health care level to prevent/manage chronic diseases of lifestyle, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Sandra was also the coordinator for the University of the Witwatersrand Research Trusts (Diseases of Lifestyle & Molecular Biosciences) from August 2009 until July 2011. Currently Sandra is enrolled as a full-time PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, starting 2011, and is the recipient of a NIH (USA) Millennium Leadership Training Programme on Non-communicable Diseases scholarship from the University of the Witwatersrand. The title of her research proposal is, ‘Community-based intervention programmes for the prevention of chronic non- communicable diseases in Soweto’.
Sandra's is a PhD Researcher, Dietician and Project manager (HEDU - AFRICA / Protect-Africa study)
Stewart S, Carrington MJ, Pretorius S, Methusi P, Sliwa K. Standing at the crossroads between new and historically prevalent heart disease: Effects of migration and socio-economic factors in the Heart of Soweto cohort study. Euro Heart J 2011;32(4):492-9.
Stewart S, Carrington MJ, Pretorius, S, Ogah OS, Blauwet L, Antras-Ferry J, Sliwa K. Elevated risk factors but low burden of heart disease in urban African primary care patients: A fundamental role for primary prevention. Int J Cardiol. 2012;158:205–210.
Stewart S, Mocumbi AO, Carrington MJ, Pretorius S, Burton R, Sliwa K. A not so rare form of heart failure in urban black Africans: Pathways to right heart failure in the Heart of Soweto Study cohort. Eur J Heart Fail 2011;13(10):1070-77.