31 Aug 2019

'Dream project' wants to cut rates of heart disease among Māori and Pasifika

10:02 am on 31 August 2019

A research team will use a $2m government grant to look at inequities in the rates of cardiovascular disease among Māori and Pasifika.

Co-leaders of $2m project looking at inequities in Māori and and Pasifika heart health.

Dr Corina Grey, left, and Associate Professor Matire Harwood will study how the risk of heart disease is assessed and managed among Māori and Pasifika. Photo: Supplied

The three-year study, led by Dr Corina Grey and Associate Professor Matire Harwood, both from the University of Auckland, is the first major programme of its kind in New Zealand.

More than 20,000 Māori and about 7000 Pasifika are living with heart disease.

The researchers will look into how the risk of heart disease is assessed and managed, and what can be done to reduce delays and improve access to hospital care for these groups.

The team will use kaupapa Māori and Pacific research methods.

They will then develop a roadmap for health policy makers and providers, which could alter the way healthcare is delivered across primary and secondary care.

Dr Grey has high hopes for the success of the study. "This is a total dream project. We've got an amazing team and it's what we've been working towards for such a long time."

Associate Professor Harwood said: "We're bringing together an excellent team with different expertise, from GPs to epidemiologists, who have all done a ton of work looking at equity and heart disease.

"We have the experience and it's now time to use that to inform health policy makers and services in New Zealand."

Their funding comes from the Heart Foundation and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.

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