Aboriginal women at high risk of heart disease

Heart Foundation funding

The Heart Foundation is calling on the State Government and the Opposition to commit to a funding campaign at next year's state election to improve the heart health of Port Augusta's Aboriginal people.

They are asking for whichever government is elected next year to provide $1.5 million during the following three years to fund a project to empower South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to improve their heart health.

The funding would see the foundation work in collaboration with the SA Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium to increase awareness about the warning signs of a heart attack and general heart health.

South Australian Aboriginal women are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease at an earlier stage in their life between the ages of of 25 to 34, where almost 30 per cent of South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were found to have cardiovascular disease.

The Heart Foundation's Heart Health Manager South Australia, Dr Marie Ludlow said the gap in heart health is concerning.

"Heart disease is largely preventable, and it is important that through education and understanding we encourage more people to see the personal relevance of heart disease," he said.

"We are keen to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with the tools to manage their risk factors for heart disease.

"The Heart Foundation wants to work together with communities and key health professionals to address the inequalities in heart health and work towards solutions, but government funding is critical."

SA Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium Executive Officer Kim Morey said funding and campaign would help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women live a healthier life.

"Addressing the huge disparities in heart health depends on health promotion that meets the needs of our communities and that is designed through respectful and inclusive engagement," she said.