Record boost to tackle Australias biggest killers

Stroke Foundation has welcomed the launch of a comprehensive research effort to tackle stroke and heart disease with a $220 million 10-year Mission for Cardiovascular Health.

Australian Health Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP launched the Mission in Sydney today.

Awarded under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), grants will support researchers find the next big breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease – primarily stroke and heart disease – and develop a global biotech industry, as well as reduce hospitalisations.

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said the Mission had the potential to save lives and improve health outcomes for millions of Australians now and into the future.

“More than 4 million Australians live with heart disease and stroke, they are two of our nation’s biggest killers and their impact is on the increase,” Professor Thrift said.

“Yet, they can be prevented and can be treated.

“Research holds the key to stemming the tide of heart disease and stroke.”

Professor Thrift said the Mission would enable the expansion of the collective knowledge of stroke and heart disease, and move disease prevention, care and treatment forward.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan applauded the announcement saying it would deliver a much-needed boost to the Australian research community.

“Australia is home to some of the world’s leading minds in stroke and heart disease, this mission will capitalise on this expertise and stimulating new and emerging research,” she said.

“Research takes time and a great deal of money, but when the breakthroughs come they benefit generations.”

Today’s research announcement follows cross-party support for Medicare funded heart health checks to enable doctors to better prevent, detect and manage cardiovascular disease.

Facts about stroke

1. One stroke every nine minutes in Australia

2. Stroke kills more men than prostate cancer and more women than breast cancer

3. Around 30 percent of stroke survivors are of working age (under 65)

4. More than 65 percent of stroke survivors suffer a disability that impedes their ability to carry out daily activities unassisted.

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