Page 2879 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022

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At this stage research in Australia has indicated sex-specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, research overseas also highlights that LGBTQI+ adults experience disparities across several cardiovascular risk factors compared to their heterosexual or non-transgender peers. There is a clear need for more research in this space.

I am grateful for and commend the Heart Foundation’s research and advocacy. Their assistance and support in preparing this motion have been invaluable.

I bring this motion to the Assembly today to call on the ACT government to work with all Australian governments to improve the collection and reporting of data in order to improve the understanding of cardiovascular disease’s impact on women.

I call on the government to consider a future Chief Health Officer report to include a focus on the impact of cardiovascular disease, including information on risk, incidence, prevention, care and outcome spectrum, and inequalities according to sex.

I call on the ACT government to explore the potential for targeted campaigns to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease in women with the community and explore further engagement with the federal government, Capital Health Network and community partners to highlight the disparity in health outcomes for women in relation to the disease, and promote awareness of the actions that can be taken to reduce cardiovascular risk.

I also call on the government to advocate to the federal government to implement actions as outlined in the National Strategic Action Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke, including progressing a women and heart disease campaign, and continuing to enhance data for, and collection and management of, cardiovascular diseases.

I call on the government to leverage communication activities to promote awareness of the disease, the symptoms and prevention to both the community and health professionals—for example, during Heart Week and Women’s Health Week.

The ACT is a progressive jurisdiction that leads the way with so many positive initiatives. I would like to thank the health minister for all of the work that she and the directorate do in this space. Let us start leading the way in reducing gender disparities when it comes to cardiovascular health. Public health campaigns and messaging will help women in our community and will provide a broad public health benefit for cardiovascular disease outcomes.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (4.35): As shadow health minister for the Canberra Liberals, I am pleased to speak on this motion to raise awareness of the issue of women and heart disease.

Heart Research Australia tells us that the reasons heart disease is less recognised among women may include that women tend to develop symptoms at a much later stage of the disease than men and that the symptoms are often a little more vague and non-specific. Women can experience different symptoms of a heart attack from men. Interestingly, women are less likely to experience that chest pain type of symptom.

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