Cardiometabolic Disease

Cardiometabolic Disease

The Cardiometabolic Disease program investigates the burden, causes, consequences and mitigation of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and mental illness to help improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities.

Extensive consultation with South Australian Aboriginal communities identified that chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and issues influencing social and emotional wellbeing are a major source of worry and cause of hardship.

Collectively, these conditions account for 80% of the life expectancy difference between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, so they are a critical target for research and health system and policy reform.

The primary focus for this integrated research program is to understand the burden, causes and consequences of chronic health conditions from population levels through to an individual biological and genetic level.

    These understandings inform the development of interventions to improve the lives and opportunities of disadvantaged communities.

    Priorities include:

    • Improving understanding of the natural history and range factors driving chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, and their complications.
    • The links between the heart and the mind by investigating the influence that psychosocial factors such as depression have on chronic conditions.
    • Developing unique interventions to overcome chronic disease inequality. This includes developing and testing ways to modify chronic diseases through focus on policy, health care, medical and non-pharmacological trials and social and psychological interventions.
    • Developing the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and health professionals to strengthen opportunities to provide culturally aware responses to current and future health issues