Heart Foundation Queensland CEO Stephen Vines is urging candidates to commit to improving cardiac care in the upcoming state election.
Heart Foundation Queensland CEO Stephen Vines is urging candidates to commit to improving cardiac care in the upcoming state election.

Candidates urged to tackle Ipswich’s silent killer

A SILENT killer responsible for thousands of deaths a year disproportionately impacts Queenslanders – and Ipswich is one of its worst hotspots.

In the lead up to the state election, the Heart Foundation is calling on the next Queensland Government to make cardiac care a priority.

According to the foundation’s data, heart disease kills 15 Queenslanders daily and an average 246 patients throughout the state are hospitalised in a 24-hour period.

Ipswich ranks as the 13th worst hotspot for heart disease and is the fifth worst hotpot for heart-related hospitalisations.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said she was aware heart health was a problem in her city.

“We have a huge problem with nutrition and with educating people with what they’re putting into their bodies and how to prevent heart disease,” Ms Howard said.

“I think making Ipswich more walkable (would help) and teaching people from an early age what a healthy diet looks like.

“We need to tackle the issue holistically and not just talk about caring for people after they have a heart attack.”

Four key priorities outline the Heart Foundation’s strategy:

– Improve cardiac services by continuing to deliver outreach cardiac services across all regional areas

– Ensure everyone can access cardiac rehabilitation programs by providing face-to-face group programs or remote delivered programs

– Work towards ending the burden of rheumatic heart disease on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

– Boost funding for the Queensland Cardiac Outcomes Register of heart conditions to improve the safety and quality of cardiac care

Heart Foundation Queensland CEO Stephen Vines said investing in preventive health was vital to keeping people healthy and resilient as the state deals with the challenges arising from the coronavirus.

“Increasing cardiac rehab options and improving access to programs statewide will give patients the best chance of recovering from a heart condition and avoiding going back to hospital,” Mr Vines said.

He said the upcoming election was a critical chance for politicians to confront the issue of heart health.

Heart disease hotspots

Regions with highest age-standardised rates of heart-related hospitalisations, with national ranking:

  • Queensland Outback (2)
  • Wide Bay (4)
  • Ipswich (5)
  • Moreton Bay-North (7)
  • Mackay-Isaac-Whitsundays (9)
  • Logan-Beaudesert (11)
  • Central Queensland (12)
  • Brisbane-North (13)
  • Darling Downs-Maranoa (14)
  • Cairns (15)
  • Townsville (16)

Regions with highest age-standardised rates of heart disease deaths, with national ranking:

  • Queensland Outback (2)
  • Logan-Beaudesert (3)
  • Brisbane-South (6)
  • Townsville (10)
  • Darling Downs-Maranoa (12)
  • Ipswich (13)
  • Moreton Bay-North (17)
  • Wide Bay (20)


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