School of Population Health

More Informed Action to Improve Aboriginal Heart Health in WA

Further information

For further information on this project, please contact Prof Sandra Thompson or Dr Judy Katzenellenbogen.

Research investigators (Chief Investigators)

External Collaborations

NHMRC Early Career Fellow


This project, also known as the Bettering Aboriginal Heart Health in WA (BAHHWA) project, will analyse detailed epidemiological, service utilisation and costing information on a range of heart and associated chronic disease in Aboriginal Western Australians and engage regional Western Australian Aboriginal planning forums, policy makers, health service managers and funders. Stakeholder understanding of the evidence and their response will be investigated with the aim of facilitating changes that improve Aboriginal heart health.

Indigenous people have a life expectancy 10-14 years shorter than non-Indigenous Australians, with cardiovascular diseases explaining 23% of the differential in disease burden. Cardiovascular disease disparities are relected in substantially higher Aboriginal mortality and hospitalisation rates, as well as high prevalence of classical risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

There are limited reliable estimates of health costs relating to cardiovascular diseases in Aboriginal people, but reports from the AIHW indicate that Aboriginal people have appreciably greater use of health services for cardiovascular diseases, but despite this there have been no improvements in health differentials.

Project aims

  1. To describe and compare the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of CHD, chronic heart failure (CHF), dysrhythmias and major co-morbid conditions including diabetes and CKD in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in WA.
  2. To compare (using hospitalisation data) access of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to acute and continuing medical care for heart diseases, focussing on acute and chronic CHD, CHF and cardiac dysrhythmias.
  3. To describe health care service utilisation and direct costs for heart diseases in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in WA as the basis for future studies of cost-effectiveness of public health and clinical interventions to improve cardiovascular health in Aboriginal people.
  4. To investigate the responses of health decision-makers to epidemiological and cost information about Aboriginal inequalities in CHD care and outcomes.  This component incorporates dissemination of findings and studying barriers within the system around research translation.


This project is funded by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia:

  • NHMRC - Project grant number 1031057
  • NHMRC - Early Career Fellowship 1037429


This Page

Last updated:
Thursday, 16 March, 2017 10:27 AM