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General practitioners should routinely screen patients for poverty to cut deaths from preventable diseases, the Chief Executive of Catholic Health Australia Martin Laverty says.
'We know the lowest socio-economic groups in Australia die about three years earlier than people in the highest socio-ecomomic groups and that they have twice the amount of chronic illness,' he said.
Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to die of heart disease while in hospital and those with heart problems are 40% less likely to receive specialist heart imaging, called angiograms, and stents to keep their arteries open.
'Health inequalities can be addressed if we recognise that people who are socio-economically disadvantaged have greater risk factors and a different way of engaging with the health system,' said Mr Laverty.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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