What affects the heart health of an area? A case of good heart health – City of Yarra

Georgia Allan

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University in Adelaide. At .id, Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of housing.id, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy. Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas. When not in the office, she is likely to be cooking, knitting, crocheting, or buried in a good book.

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2 Responses

  1. While this article provides an interesting statistic about heart health in an LGA, it glosses over the likely variance between small areas which is actually what matters. Second guessing at smoking rates is also a bit slack – smoking rates are demonstrably linked to disadvantage as well as culture – this data is available at SA2. Rates of smoking in low SEIFA SA2s are sometimes double those of high SEIFA SA2s so the two biggest risk factors become smoking and disadvantage, and then we also need to factor in social support and health literacy before beginning to understand the story of heart health across an LGA. In public health/population health, we should never focus on one risk factor in the absence of all others and we must always understand the variance between areas.

    • Georgia Allan says:

      Thank you for your detailed response to this blog. We are very pleased to have someone with your expertise in this area reviewing this article. As an organisation that specialises in small area analysis, we do understand the importance of drilling down to smaller geography to identify pockets of disadvantage and difference within an LGA. However in this case we were commissioned by the Heart Foundation to deliver a series of Heart Health Fact Sheets for each LGA in Victoria as a conversation starter with local government and local medical practitioners. The fact sheets do specify rates of smoking and connect them to a series of risk factors. We were unable to use SA2 geography as they do not always sum to LGAs. In other work that we do, we drill down to SA1 geography to identify pockets of disadvantage within wealthy LGAs such as Yarra.

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