This project will create a novel whole-of-population linked data platform to provide strong evidence on health and health care to inform health policy and practice. With our partnership of researchers and key organisations – the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the National Heart Foundation of Australia – we propose linking Census, mortality and key health data to answer partner priority research questions, centred on three themes.
Theme 1 – Variation in fatal burden of disease
There is a huge opportunity for identifying potential population health gain within Australia by systematically quantifying socioeconomic variation in fatal burden of major diseases. We will do this using linked Census-mortality data, and develop an Index of Preventive Potential that can be used to prioritise action.
Theme 2 – Primary and secondary preventive cardiovascular disease (CVD) care
CVD is a leading contributor to disease burden in Australia, but the majority with high CVD risk are not receiving guideline-recommended treatment. By linking Australian Health Survey to MBS and PBS data we will examine patterns of care among those at high risk and determine factors associated with uptake and continuity of best-practice treatment. This will inform the community, practitioners and policymakers to improve management.
Theme 3 – End-of-life care, with a focus on CVD
The need for appropriate end-of-life care is recognised but evidence on where Australians die and the support they receive is fragmented. We propose linking Census, mortality, health and aged care data to enable a comprehensive analysis of social circumstances, residential location, and health and aged care service use in the last year of life, and how this varies by cause-of-death. These analyses have huge potential to inform gaps in knowledge on end-of-life pathways, and insights into factors associated with adverse and favourable trajectories, hence opportunities to intervene.