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Mental disorders due to substance use and cardiovascular disease risk in Aboriginal adults

Med J Aust 2010; 192 (10): 566.

To the Editor: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mental disorders are the top two contributors to the total burden of disease in Indigenous Australians and make a substantial contribution to the excess morbidity and mortality in this group.1 There is increasing evidence that mental disorders are risk factors for, or consequences of, CVD.2 Awareness and better understanding of the intertwined relationship between mental disorders and CVD in Indigenous populations can provide opportunities for coordinated and seamless management of these conditions in health care systems.

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  • Zhiqiang Wang1
  • Damin Si2
  • Wendy E Hoy3

  • Centre for Chronic Disease, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: damin.si@uq.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We thank the Aboriginal community and people who participated in this study, and the local clinics for their help and support. The baseline data were collected by the renal research team at the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin. This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship. The funder had no influence on study design, data collection and analysis, or writing of this letter.

  • 1. Vos T, Barker B, Stanley L, Lopez A. The burden of disease and injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2003. Brisbane: School of Population Health, University of Queensland, 2007.
  • 2. Prince M, Patel V, Saxena S, et al. No health without mental health. Lancet 2007; 370: 859-877.
  • 3. Wang Z, Hoy WE. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, body mass index, diabetes and smoking status in Aboriginal Australians in a remote community. Ethn Dis 2003; 13: 324-330.
  • 4. World Health Organization. The world health report 2001 — mental health: new understanding, new hope. Geneva: WHO, 2001.
  • 5. Nagel T, Thompson C. Aboriginal mental health workers and the improving Indigenous mental health service delivery model in the ‘Top End’. Australas Psychiatry 2006; 14: 291-294.

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