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Heart, Lung and Circulation

Cardiovascular Disease in Australians Experiencing Homelessness

Published:October 28, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2022.08.017
      Australia has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the world, at 498 per 100,000 people, and Australians experiencing homelessness (AEH) are a particularly vulnerable cohort, with a greater prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and poorer health outcomes, when compared to the general population. This narrative review explores how a combination of inadequately managed traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors, along with several personal, practical and relationship challenges with the health system, have created unique barriers in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease in AEH.
      To help address these inequalities, we propose a targeted and collaborative strategy, which includes government proactivity, stable and affordable housing, and involvement of specialist health professionals, community leaders and major homelessness organisations. Furthermore, the delivery of health care needs to be a combination of outreach and opportunistic services, with a focus on flexible and individualised preventative care.

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