This review of the cardiovascular health of Indigenous people has been prepared by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet as a part of our efforts to contribute to 'closing the gap' in health between Indigenous people and other Australians by making relevant, high quality knowledge and information easily accessible to policy makers, health service providers, program managers, clinicians, researchers and the general community. The review is an example of the HealthInfoNet's translational research, defined as 'comprehensive applied research that strives to translate the available knowledge and render it operational' (, p1794).
The main purpose of the review, which follows the model of narrative reviews/syntheses, is to provide a comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date review of the cardiovascular health of Indigenous people that (1) is a valuable up-to-date overview for people working in the area; and (2) assists in the development/refinement of policies, strategies and programs.
Research for the review involves the collection, collation, and analysis of a wide range of relevant information, including both published and unpublished material. Sources include government reports, particularly those produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP). As well as the regular ABS and AIHW publications, this review draws on the reports in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework series. These reports, prepared by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012, are accompanied by substantial detailed analyses 2.
After providing the context of Indigenous cardiovascular, the body of review outlines the extent of cardiovascular disease among Indigenous people (including attention to the major conditions), provides an overview of the various contributing factors, considers management, prevention and rehabilitation, summarises a number of relevant policies and strategies, and provides some brief concluding comments. Rather than commence with an executive summary, the review is preceded by a section devoted to 'Key facts', which presents the summarised information in a more concise form.
Further information about the cardiovascular health of Indigenous people is accessible from the relevant section of HealthInfoNet's website (www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au), which provides access to: the complete Indigenous-specific literature; details of policies and strategies, programs and projects, and organisations involved in the area; and databases of health promotion and health practice resources. The section also contains a plain language version of this review.