Researchers call for community help to better manage heart disease

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Heart disease is still the number one killer of Australians - and researchers at The University of Western Australia want to meet people who have had, or care for someone, with heart disease, heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

The researchers are holding two ‘community conversations' about heart disease to investigate the effectiveness of preventive medications.

Associate Professor Frank Sanfilippo from the Cardiovascular Research Group, School of Population Health, said: "We are really interested in people coming along to one of the conversations and tell us how they manage their heart disease and medicines.

"Talking to people about their experiences in managing medications for these conditions will provide researchers with an understanding about any issues and what is important to the community."

"Each year around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack, the most common form of heart disease," Associate Professor Sanfilippo said.  "This is around 150 heart attacks a day, or one every 10 minutes. Some of these are fatal."

Associate Professor Sanfilippo said there is strong evidence that certain medications are successful in preventing a second heart attack and improving survival. "However, we do not know if people continue to take their medicines for a long time after being discharged from hospital."

The new research led by UWA will examine three heart conditions: coronary heart disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation (a type of rapid and irregular heart beat) to try to find out the effectiveness of preventive medications.  This includes finding out how long patients continue to take their prescribed medicines.

"This is especially important for women, given the recent media release by the Heart Foundation stating that women who survive a first heart attack are more likely than men to die of a second heart attack," Associate Professor Sanfilippo said.

The ‘community conversations' are on Wednesday 9 July and Wednesday 6 August between 12noon and 2.30pm in the Niche at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre in Nedlands.  Payment for out-of-pocket expenses and a light lunch are provided.

For more information or to RSVP for this event, please e-mail Hayley Haines or call 6488 8176 Monday to Wednesday or 9489 7742 Thursday to Friday.

Media references

Associate Professor Frank Sanfilippo (UWA School of Population Health)  (+61 8) 6488 8181 / (+61 4) 01 822 626
Hayley Haines (Consumer Project Officer, UWA Consumer and Participation Program)  (+61 8) 6488 8176
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager)  (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716

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