Mind The Gap, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review

Elsevier, Heart Lung and Circulation, Volume 32, February 2023
McGee M., Shephard L., Sugito S., Baker D., Brienesse S., Al-Omary M. et al.

Australia's First Nations Peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, have reduced life expectancy compared to the wider community. Cardiovascular diseases, mainly driven by ischaemic heart disease, are the leading contributors to this disparity. Despite over a third of First Nations Peoples living in New South Wales, the bulk of the peer-reviewed literature is from Central Australia and Far North Queensland. Regardless of the site of publication, First Nations Peoples are significantly younger at disease onset and have higher rates of comorbidities, in turn driving adverse health events. On top of this, very few First Nations Peoples specific cardiovascular interventions or programs have been shown to improve outcomes. The traditional biomedical model of care is less efficacious and non-traditional models of communication such as clinical yarning may benefit both clinicians and patients. The key purpose of this review is to highlight the deficiencies of our knowledge of cardiovascular burden of disease for First Nations Peoples; and to serve as a catalyst for more dedicated research. We need to have relationships with communities and concentrate on community improvement and partnerships. By involving First Nations Peoples researchers in collaboration with local communities in all levels of health care design and intervention will improve outcomes.