Heart prob­lems high in Bel­mont

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

BEL­MONT has the high­est num­ber of heart-re­lated hospi­tal ad­mis­sions in the metropoli­tan area, a new study pub­lished by the Heart Foun­da­tion has re­vealed.

The study, Aus­tralian Heart Maps, was a na­tional on­line ser­vice high­light­ing how in­di­ca­tors for heart dis­ease were dis­trib­uted through­out Aus­tralia’s hospi­tal net­work.

Bel­mont had an age-stan­dard­ised rate of 64.6 per 10,000 peo­ple, which was “sig­nif­i­cantly above av­er­age”, com­pared to Victoria Park 54.3 and South Perth 39.0.

The low­est ASR in the metropoli­tan area was Cottes­loe with 29.3 while the WA av­er­age was 47.

Heart Foun­da­tion WA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mau­rice Swan­son said he be­lieved Bel­mont’s ASR could be due to high rates of risk fac­tors, in­clud­ing choles­terol lev­els, smok­ing and phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity.

“How­ever at this stage we don’t have risk fac­tor fig­ures specif­i­cally for Bel­mont, only for the whole south­east re­gion which Bel­mont is part of,” Mr Swan­son said.

“The Heart Foun­da­tion is work­ing with the WA Depart­ment of Health to drill down to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment level and fur­ther data col­lected over the next two years may ex­plain higher hospi­tal ad­mis­sion rates in some ar­eas.”

Mr Swan­son said with the pas­sage of the Health Act by the WA Par­lia­ment, lo­cal govern­ments were re­quired to pre­pare pub­lic health plans. “Th­ese plans will en­able lo­cal govern­ments to re­view the in­for­ma­tion on risk fac­tors and work with and sup­port their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to make the health­ier choices the eas­i­est choices,” he said.

Heart Foun­da­tion na­tional chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer John Kelly said the heart maps would serve as a valu­able tool for health pro­fes­sion­als, health ser­vices, lo­cal govern­ments, re­searchers and pol­icy mak­ers to set strat­egy, plan ser­vices and tar­get preven­tion ini­tia­tives.

The heart maps dis­play sep­a­ra­tions for heart at­tacks, un­sta­ble angina and heart fail­ure be­tween 2012 and 2014.

To ac­cess the heart maps, visit www.heart­foun­da­tion.org.au.

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