Making the case for a more accurate cardiovascular disease risk assessment tool for Indigenous Australians
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of premature death in Indigenous Australians (Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, 2014). Statistics show that the morbidity and mortality from CVD among Indigenous Australians are significantly higher than non-Indigenous Australians (Abbott, Davison, & Moore, 2008; Braidshaw, Alfonso, Finn, Owen, & Thompson, 2011). In 2012–2013, 12% of Indigenous Australians reported living with a CVD (Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, 2014). CVD is a preventable non-communicable disease and the intensity of preventive treatment should be based on individuals’ risk assessment score (National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance, 2009; Wang & Hoy, 2005). However, many possible contributing factors of CVD among Indigenous Australians such as cultural and historical factors, environmental and socioeconomic factors, psychosocial stressors and limited access to both preventive and clinical health care (Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, 2014), are not considered in the current CVD risk assessment tools. Therefore, there is currently a lack of an accurate CVD risk assessment tool tailored to meet the needs of Indigenous Australians.