Western Australians who live in the outbacks of Kimberley and Pilbara are among those twice as likely to be hospitalized for heart attacks with their regional and urban counterparts bridging the growing heart-health gap Highlight in the largest state in the country.
New Australian Heart Maps numbers released today by the Heart Foundation paint a picture of an alarming country, region and city divide with people living in outback WA more likely to suffer compared to their deaths, hospitalizations and risk factors City colleagues.
Western Australians who live in the northern outback, including the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for heart attacks than their downtown counterparts in the Wheatbelt, Bunbury and Perth regions.
Heart disease deaths in outback WA, including Greater Geraldton, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, and Broome, are 40% higher than in the southwest Perth region.
Sarah Fordham, CEO of the Heart Foundation, WA, said the numbers show that distance and disadvantage are responsible for some of the largest heart health gaps in the state.
These maps help us understand the areas where healthcare and investment are most needed, and we hope the Washington government will assist us in addressing these numbers and the root causes that are helping to address them, » said Mrs. Fordham.
“We need to find ways to fill these health gaps and address the lack of knowledge and awareness that can contribute to poor heart health.
« Too often we hear that people don’t realize that something is wrong until they end up in the hospital with a heart attack. The fact is, heart disease is relevant to everyone – it’s our biggest killer. ”
Western Australia’s outback and regional areas also perform worse than urban areas for some risk factors for heart disease.
Smoking rates in WA’s Outback South region are the second highest in the country and twice as high as in Perth’s inner city suburbs, while Bunbury and the Wheatbelt have almost 70% higher obesity rates in metropolitan Perth.
While the biggest differences in heart health are between the WA outback and metropolitan areas, there are some big differences in the urban areas of Perth.
Deaths from heart disease in northeast Perth, including the cities of Swan, Bayswater, Kalamanda and Belmont, are 30% higher than in southwest Perth – including the cities of Rockingham, Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville.
The number of smokers in northeast Perth is 60% higher and obesity nearly 50% higher than in the inner city suburbs of Perth.
People are being hospitalized in southeast Perth, including Counties Gosnells and Canning, with heart problems. The rate is 24% higher than the Perth suburbs.
There are many ways to prevent or interrupt the journey to heart disease if risk factors are identified early and people understand what to do to improve their heart health, « said Ms. Fordham.
« We urge all Western Australians to understand their risk for heart disease so that they can take steps to reduce it. The best way to do this is with a heart health checkup. « .
« If you are 45 years of age or older, or 30 and over if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, speak to your GP about a Medicare-covered cardiac health checkup. ”
Heart Foundation, Myocardial Infarction, Western Australia, Obesity, Melbourne, Coronary Artery Disease, Cardiovascular Disease
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