Date of Award

1-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Science

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Mr David Ryder

Abstract

As the leading cause of death and disease in Australia, Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) places a significant burden on society. There are many lifestyle factors that are known to increase the risk of CHD. This study looks at both risk factors and protective factors of CHD. Research also shows CHD prevalence to be predicted by socio-economic status (SES) variables. This study aims to identify the extent to which risk and protective factors predict CHD prevalence in an Australian National survey and whether the association between risk factors and CHD is confounded by SES variables. This study used data from the 1995 National Health Survey (NHS/1995) to evaluate known risk factors as well as the mediating effect of SES factors. Risk factors included regular cigarette smoking, physical activity and alcohol consumption. SES variables are education, income, occupation, and an index of socio-economic disadvantage based on residence. Two dependent variables for CHO used in the analysis are the first health condition reported in medical consultation and the reported use of Heart Disease I Blood Pressure (HD/BP) medications. The results indicated that ex-smokers were more likely to report CHD than those who had never smoked and those who were current smokers. Those who engaged in regular exercise were less likely to report CHD. There were no conclusive results for alcohol consumption. While income and SEIFA index, a measure of SES of residential areas, are associated with CHD prevalence, these associations are independent of the risk and protective factor associations. There is no evidence from this study that SES variables confound the effects of known risk and protective factors. The implications of these results are discussed.

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