Australian Catholic University study reveals extent of heart problems in the Hunter Region

Lyne has the worst rate of hospitalisation for coronary artery disease of all the federal electorates in Australia, a new study has found.

The seat, which neighbours Paterson and Hunter, topped the list of the worst 10 electorates for admissions to hospital for the condition.

The list features in research by the Australian Catholic University’s Mary McKillop Institute for Health and Research, which will be released in Canberra today.

No other Hunter or Lake Macquarie electorates appeared in the list of the worst 10 and none were rated among the best 10.

Lyne takes in Karuah, Gresford, Dungog and part of Maitland, in the south, and stretches north to the Port Macquarie-Hastings area.

“Indigenous Australians and people living in regional and rural Australia experience greater heart disease risk and poorer disease outcomes in the context of often limited health care resources,” said Dr Yih-Kai Chan, the study’s lead author.

“In a geographically sparse continent, these gaps pose significant challenges for matching health services to individual needs to improve persistently poor health outcomes associated with chronic heart disease.

“To make matters worse, our ageing population coupled with an evolving sedentary lifestyle means chronic heart disease will continue to be one of the leading causes of death, disability and very poor quality of life among adult Australians in the foreseeable future.”

The study also found that more than 5000 people aged 35 or under were taken to hospital for coronary artery disease in the seat of Newcastle in the 2016/17 financial year.

Meanwhile, 1168 people in that age bracket in Newcastle were hospitalised for heart failure, while 2072 presented with an abnormal heart rhythm.

In Paterson, which takes in Maitland and Port Stephens, 5869 people aged 35 or under were hospitalised for coronary heart disease.

More than 1000 people presented with heart failure and 2234 were hospitalised with an abnormal heart rhythm.

The study will be presented at Parliament House on Wednesday.


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