Proposal for Cardiovascular Risk Assessments

The NVDPA has supported calls for heart and stroke disease risk assessments to be embedded alongside type 2 diabetes and kidney disease risk assessment in routine GP visits for everyone over 45.


Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) released the policy paper Heart Health: the first step in getting Australia’s health on track in Canberra on 17 October 2017.


The paper recommends a national investment in Absolute Cardiovascular Risk Assessment (ACVR) screening and outlines a national primary care strategy to reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) on the community.


The paper builds on the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) proposal for an integrated health check for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.


One Australian dies every 12 minutes from CVD including heart attack and stroke – 40 percent prematurely. People with type 2 diabetes are 3-4 times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. People with CVD are also at risk of kidney disease.


NVDPA member and Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said regular integrated health checks delivered by GPs will ensure people at high risk were identified and managed.


“Chronic diseases are Australia’s greatest health challenge and leading cause of illness, disability and death. However, much of this burden could be prevented through early detection and early treatment,’’ Ms McGowan said.


“Integrated health checks will help ensure Australians stay alive, stay well longer and stay out of hospital.”


AHPC Director Professor Rosemary Calder said embedding risk assessments into GP visits would be the single most effective strategy for chronic disease prevention.


The NVDPA and AHPC both recommend that integrated risk assessments be supported by the Medicare Benefits Schedule and promoted through the community and Primary Health Networks.


The AHPC Heart Health report was developed in collaboration with leading national clinical and policy experts and in consultation with the Royal Australian College of General Practice and the NVDPA.


The NVDPA includes the Stroke Foundation, the National Heart Foundation, Kidney Health Australia and Diabetes Australia.


The Heart Health report follows the AHPC’s policy roadmap, Getting Australia’s Health on Track, 2016 which aims to significantly reduce preventable illness and disability.


20 October 2017.