Exploring the Psychosocial Determinants of Coronary Heart Disease among Indigenous men in Central Australia

| Brown, A.

The life expectancy (LE) gap experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in one of Australians most enduring health divides. Whilst there are many likely reasons, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) stand as the primary contributor. In particular, it is the almost ten-fold higher mortality from CVD at young ages that distinguishes this epidemic. The reasons for this disparity remain incompletely understood. Current research has focused on the likely contribution of traditional risk factor burdens in Aboriginal people, who demonstrate higher levels of smoking, obesity, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Less attention has focused on the potential contribution of disadvantage and its interplay with psychosocial factors. Research on the psychosocial determinants of health, particularly in relation to CVD, has a long pedigree. Social context, particularly inequality between individuals, has assumed its rightful place at the forefront of our understandings of population levels of disease. Among them, socioeconomic position [SEP] and depression are the most robust, and most widely researched. They have not been adequately explored in the context of Aboriginal Australians, nor has the manner in which culture shapes, sustains or transforms disadvantage and psychosocial stress been outlined. The objective of the Men Hearts and Minds (MHM) Study was to identify the possible ways in which social disadvantage may lead to CVD in Aboriginal men in Central Australia and consider the role of psychosocial factors in modifying or mediating this relationship

Journal: School of Population Health, University of Queensland|Publication Date: 2009|