Determinants and Interventions for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Published: 23 June 2018
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the 10 major chronic conditions in Australia (AIHW 2021).
The other main chronic diseases are asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, back pain, cancer, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and mental health conditions (AIHW 2021).
Chronic diseases are on the rise and are a priority area for the health system. Unfortunately, at present, chronic diseases affect half of the Australian population, with 47% of people having at least one of the 10 major chronic conditions (AIHW 2021).
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term describing disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including:
Coronary heart disease (alternatively referred to as ischaemic heart disease and includes heart attack/acute myocardial infarction, and angina)
Evidently, not all of these determinants can be changed, but it is the aim of evidence-based interventions to reduce risk factors for disease and prevent complications or deaths from chronic disease (Kumar 2017).
CVD is the leading cause of death on a global scale (WHO 2021). Kumar (2017) states that better access to healthcare could help to prevent CVD.
Determinants of CVD
Determinants of CVD (with stronger evidence links) generally fall under one of the following:
Behaviours - including tobacco smoking, lack of physical activity and diet (i.e. high intake of saturated fat is linked to coronary heart disease)
Biomedical – including obesity, hypertension, and abnormal blood lipids.
Determinants may include:
Excessive alcohol intake
Being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
(Better Health Channel 2020)
General Interventions for Determinants of CVD
Lifestyle behaviour modification programs
Improved access to programs and healthcare
Allocating resources to CVD prevention and management
Improving the environment,
CVD-specific interventions with effective monitoring and planning systems,/li>
Promoting CVD education across the community (e.g. not just in medical clinics), and targetting CVD risk factors.
Australia-specific interventions for CVD include:
Subsidised healthcare by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)
Subsidised medicines used to treat CVD under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Research into CVD funded by the Medical Research Future Fund and the National Health and Medical Research Council
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Centre for Monitoring Chronic Conditions.