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Indigenous communities learn heart care

13 Jul 2012


Paramedics are at Eastlakes NAIDOC Family Fun Day in Pelican today to educate the local Indigenous community on recognising a heart attack.

The NSW Ambulance Aboriginal Cardiac Education Program is aimed at Indigenous adults and describes the warning signs of a heart attack and how to respond.

Participants also learn how a heart attack can happen and the risk factors involved. Signs and symptoms are outlined as well as the need to call Triple Zero (000) without delay.

The Aboriginal Cardiac Education Program has been developed to help address the relatively high incidence of cardiovascular disease within the Aboriginal population.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:

  • 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular diseases
  • three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack
  • more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease
  • 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease
  • more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.
    Source: Heart Foundation

The program has been delivered in a number of locations recently including Albury, Lismore and Gunnedah. Paramedics also attended NAIDOC Family Fun Days at Redfern and Tamworth.

PHOTO: NSW Ambulance Aboriginal Employment Coordinator, Callista Bryan and Cardiac Project Officer, Bernard Coren at Redfern during NAIDOC Week.