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Despite the fact that cardiovascular disease remains Australia’s biggest killer, associated death rates have dropped significantly since the 1960s. This is mainly due to the development of effective prevention, detection and management methods.
The HMRI Cardiovascular Health Program works across holistic, systemic, cellular and molecular levels so as to contribute to ongoing improvements in these strategies.
The Program is focussed on cardiopulmonary control mechanisms and the modification of physical activity and nutrition behaviours. This research aims to reduce of the incidence of cardiovascular disease, and also to improve quality of life for cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease patients.
In recent years, researchers have developed a number of early intervention strategies, wherein members of the community have been recruited to trial cardiovascular health improvement programmes. These include SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise, Diet and Information Technology), ATLAS (Active Teen Leaders Avoiding Screen Time) and NEAT Girls (Nutrition and Enjoyable Activity for Teen Girls).
These studies have not only benefitted the local participants, but they also demonstrate the significant role of preventative medicine techniques in cardiovascular health improvement.
Research within the Cardiovascular Health Program includes biomedical, clinical, public health and education research, and is providing novel treatments and interventions in the key areas of:
Many of the researchers in the program are affiliated with the University of Newcastle Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition.