Background/aims: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to impose a heavy burden in terms of cost, disability and death in Australia. Recent evidence suggests that increasing remoteness, where cardiac services are scarce, is linked to an increased risk of dying from CVD. Fatal CVD events are reported to be between 20% and 50% higher in rural areas compared to major cities. Method: This project, with its extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, will rank 11,338 rural and remote population centres to identify geographical ‘hotspots’ where there is likely to be a mismatch between the demand for and actual provision of cardiovascular services. It will, therefore, guide more equitable provision of services to rural and remote communities. Outcomes: The CARDIAC-ARIA project is designed to; map the type and location of cardiovascular services currently available in Australia, relative to the distribution of individuals who currently have symptomatic CVD; determine, by expert panel, what are the minimal requirements for comprehensive cardiovascular health support in metropolitan and rural communities and derive a rating classification based on the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) for each of Australia's 11,338 rural and remote population centres. Conclusion: This unique, innovative and highly collaborative project has the potential to deliver a powerful tool to highlight and combat the burden imposed by cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Australia
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