Māori, Pacific, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Cardiovascular Health: Where Are the Opportunities to Make a Real Difference?

Katharine F. McBride, Anna Rolleston, Corina Grey, Natasha J. Howard, Catherine Paquet, Alex Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Māori and Pacific women in New Zealand and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia are recognised as nurturers and leaders within their families and communities. However, women's wellbeing, and that of their communities, are affected by a high burden of cardiovascular disease experienced at a younger age than women from other ethnic groups. There has been little focus on the cardiovascular outcomes and strategies to address heart health inequities among Māori, Pacific, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The factors contributing to these inequities are complex and interrelated but include differences in exposure to risk and protective factors, rates of multi-morbidity, and substantial gaps within the health system, which include barriers to culturally responsive, timely and appropriate cardiovascular care. Evidence demonstrates critical treatment gaps across the continuum of risk and disease, including assessment and management of cardiovascular risk in young women and time-critical access to and receipt of acute services. Cardiovascular disease in women impacts not only the individual, but their family and community, and the burden of living with disease limits women's capacity to fulfil their roles and responsibilities which support and sustain families and communities. Our response must draw on the strengths of Māori, Pacific, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, acknowledge health and wellbeing holistically, address the health and social needs of individuals, families and communities, and recognise that Indigenous women in New Zealand, Australia and across the Pacific must be involved in the design, development and implementation of solutions affecting their own health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Gender
  • Health equity
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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