What is secondary prevention?
Healthcare designed to prevent recurrence of events (in this case Acute Coronary Syndromes) or complications of ACS in patients diagnosed with heart disease. It involves medical care, modification of behavioural risk factors, psychosocial care, education and support for self-management (including adherence to prescribed medicines), which can be delivered in various settings.
‘Working together to improve lifelong outcomes for those living with heart disease’
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Australia. Every year around 75,000 Australians are hospitalised due to a heart attack or unstable angina, also known as Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS). Of immense concern is the high number of repeat events that occur within the first 12 months. Repeat events are more likely to be fatal. In fact, the number of Australians either hospitalised or dying from largely preventable repeat events is rising and is expected to increase by up to 40% by 2020. Aside from the devastation CVD can cause families, employers and the wider community, the cost to Government is enormous. It is a matter of national priority that we work towards innovative and cost-effective improvements in the uptake and delivery of secondary prevention treatments and services.
In view of this, a National Summit for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease was hosted by The George Institute for Global Health in 2011 to consider ways to reform secondary preventive care in Australia. One of the key recommendations outlined in the Summit’s consensus report was to establish a multidisciplinary national secondary prevention taskforce. In May 2013, this taskforce was formally established as the Secondary Prevention Alliance and is made up of a broad group of national healthcare, consumer, government and non-government organisations, including the Heart Foundation, CSANZ, RACGP, ACRA and others. By uniting individual stakeholders within this Alliance it has provided a credible and powerful voice to advocate for change, including the delivery of key messages and solutions on improving secondary preventive care for all Australians, based on the Summit Recommendations.
The Secondary Prevention Alliance is currently co-chaired by Associate Professors Clara Chow and Julie Redfern.
To reduce mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease by providing effective, evidence-based secondary prevention care to all Australians living with heart disease throughout their patient journey.