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Journal article

Cardiovascular disease in regional Queensland: a case study identifying the implications for changing the primary health care educational paradigm

1 Jan 2000

Australia is perceived by many as the 'lucky' country and the image that has been portrayed to the rest of the world is one that projects a nation of tanned, active, healthy, and sports-loving individuals. This image is outdated and instead Australia is a nation with a national health problem. The health problem is having an impact which is increasingly problematic for governments. It has long been recognised that primary prevention, can be developed in two ways: by using a whole of population approach or through selective targeting (Naidoo & Wills, 1998). Within this context, this paper has chosen to explore and discuss a selective targeting approach through a case analysis of cardiovascular disease in regional Australia. In Australia, cardiovascular disease continues to be one of the major causes of death. This fact is a matter of great concern to all Australians but is particularly significant for people living in the regional city of Rockhampton, Central Queensland, where the death rate from cardiovascular disease is significantly higher than it is for the rest of the state of Queensland (354.4 deaths per 100,000 people per year compared with 310.6, Harper & Taylor, 1997, p. 21). The high death rate from heart disease in Queensland is even higher than the Australian average (Harper & Taylor, 1997, p. 22). Research previously conducted has revealed certain trends regarding cardiovascular disease. This research extends the available knowledge by measuring the cost in economic terms to the community. The findings explain the implications for Rockhampton employers and places regional health professionals in a better position to develop further research as well as to implement and explain alternative health strategies.

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