Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Cardiovascular Health
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Cardiovascular Health


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The purpose of this report is to help you deepen your understanding of the social determinants of health (SDoH) in Australia, with particular regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities. 

To structure the essay please: 

  • Identify and critically discuss one of the Australian Health Care System's national health priority areas experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities e.g. diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In your discussion include how the social determinants of health have impacted on the health and wellbeing of indigenous individuals and communities. 
  • Identify one health promotion and/or illness prevention program, and discuss how the program encourages and motivates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities to reduce their risk factors for chronic disease. Include in your discussion how this primary health care concept addresses health inequalities experienced by this population. 
  • Include up to 10 relevant references from the literature 
  • Demonstrate academic skills in writing, analysis and referencing, including clear introduction and conclusion 

Social determinants of health impact on health inequalities. 

Social determinants of health are situations, circumstances and environments in which people live. They include: 

  • Income and Social Status. 
  • Social Support Networks. 
  • Education and Literacy. 
  • Employment/Working Conditions. 
  • Social Environments. 
  • Physical Environments. 
  • Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills. 
  • Healthy Child Development. 


These social determinants of health can determine whether people have equal opportunity to live a healthy life, or to have good wellbeing. For example, if a person has poor education and/or low income, they are less likely to have the ability to access good nutritious food than someone who has had a good education and is financially secure. 

The national health priorities areas are: 

  • Cancer control
  • Cardiovascular health 
  • Injury prevention and control 
  • Mental health 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Asthma 
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions 
  • Obesity 
  • Dementia


Executive summary 

The Aboriginal and Torres Islander community is an indigenous population in Australia which is facing challenges in the management of their cardiovascular and circulatory system health. As opposed to their counterparts, this population faces many social determinants such as poor economic and social index, lack of education opportunities and subsequent lack of awareness and a poor healthcare assistance that limits their wellness. Amidst the increasing threats for the management of the cardiovascular care, poor medication availability for the BP, lack of dietary intervention and high smoking are recognized as some variables which impacts the wellness for the patients. Through this research it is advocated that even as awareness programs, and comprehension of risk factors for these conditions are recognized as strategic intervention steps by the policy makers. Still their implementation is not effective and hence, the community exhibits high mortality and morbidity with the cardiovascular ailments. The study makes a case of an engaging and interactive strategic intervention, where the needs of the community can be recognized by the community. Furthermore, focus towards the cultural awareness training amongst the practitioners is also made as a driver for effective intervention.



The Aboriginal and Torres Islander community makes the indigenous population of Australia. Despite the advancement of the technology, and developments in the healthcare delivery framework, this population continues to face challenges with respect to the life expectancy, quality of life and general wellness, as opposed to other Australians. Through this research, an attempt is made to address the social determinants for the community that increases this disparity. For the purpose of this report, the cardiovascular health status of the community is studied. It is noted that the heart and circulatory illness contributes to around 64% health burden for the community, along with some other chronic ailments (Yaman, 2017). The population has a higher rate of admission and re-admission in the hospitals, more likely to face severe consequences, and are at general risk of higher mortality owing to the cardiovascular ailments, as opposed to the non-indigenous population. While reflecting on the etiology and the risk factors for this population, it is noted that the social determinants, variables such as Education and Literacy contribute towards the severity of the cardiovascular ailments for this population. Through this paper, these variables are studied to better comprehend the problem scope, and reflect upon policy interventions for improved patient outcomes.

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