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PHARMAC heart campaign continues to grow

Published: Wed 7 Dec 2005 09:28 AM
PHARMAC heart campaign continues to grow
The One Heart Many Lives campaign is continuing to grow and produce positive results, says PHARMAC Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie.
In 2005 PHARMAC supported community-led projects in Porirua, the Bay of Plenty and west Auckland.
Now the campaign, which is aimed primarily at men aged 35 and over, is set to roll out further in Hawke’s Bay and Northland.
“One Heart Many Lives has been a real success story,” says PHARMAC’s medical director Dr Peter Moodie.
“The most pleasing aspect about the Porirua projects was that they showed the community taking over the initiative after the initial push came from PHARMAC and Capital & Coast DHB. We had piloted the campaign in Porirua in 2003, and this represented a further stage in its development.”
The main reason for the campaign’s success has been its simple message, Dr Moodie says. Heart disease is New Zealand’s single biggest killer and a death from heart disease can affect many people within the person’s family.
The campaign is particularly targeted at Maori and Pacific Island men, who have higher than average rates of cardiovascular disease, and on average die younger than other New Zealanders. Rather than being a national-level campaign, it has concentrated on geographically-concentrated areas such as Porirua, Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty.
Further endorsement came during 2004 with the campaign embraced by the Heart Foundation for its national heart week.
Dr Moodie says talks are already underway to extend the campaign into Hawke’s Bay and Northland.
“In Hawke’s Bay we know there are areas of need, and the campaign will have the support of the DHB in that region,” he says.
“Northland is another area where we know there are low rates of prescribing for statins, which lower cholesterol and help lower overall cardiovascular risk. Work is already underway and we look forward to helping develop and support initiatives that help lower the risk of people in Northland and Hawke’s Bay suffering from heart disease.”
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