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NZ’s aged care sector to gain from new cardiovascular research focus

Written by David King
on July 17, 2019

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

NZ’s aged care sector to gain from new cardiovascular research focus

Raising the standard of cardiovascular care in New Zealand’s retirement sector is the focus of a New Zealand first, joint initiative between Ryman Healthcare, The Heart Foundation of NZ and the Christchurch Heart Institute.

Known as CHAMPIONZ, information from the research will provide a clearer picture about the risk of cardiovascular disease in New Zealand’s retirement healthcare sector.

Associate Professor Chris Pemberton of the Christchurch Heart Institute, who leads the study, said the residents, the aged care sector, Ministry of Health, general practitioners and the primary health sector in general, will benefit from the findings.

“As our population ages, the retirement lifestyle and care sector is growing at an ever increasing rate. We don’t have a very good handle on what the cardiovascular health of the sector as a whole is like, and how this relates to our aging population in general. Our goal from CHAMPIONZ is to provide an accurate representation of this important area. This is with a view to helping inform policy surrounding the ongoing cardiovascular needs for retirement village and health providers, at all levels of care. ”

The Christchurch Heart Institute, has started collecting medical data from residents of Ryman’s retirement villages in Christchurch. The project will gradually roll out to other Ryman villages across the country, with the aim of enrolling more than 1000 participants into the study. 

Ryman residents who volunteer to take part in the study, will get increased awareness of their overall health and possible cardiovascular risk and become more empowered to manage that in concert with village healthcare teams and their own GPs.

Ryman Healthcare Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod said it was great to see so many residents helping-out.

“We know that there are some big gaps in health research when it comes to older people. We were delighted to be approached to help out, and residents have not only raised the funds for the study, they’re also taking part in what is likely to be an important national study.’’

Funding for the project emerged from a charity partnership between Ryman Healthcare and the Heart Foundation for research into causes of cardiovascular disease. 

The Christchurch Heart Institute, a University of Otago research centre, is internationally renowned for their contribution to cardiovascular disease research.  In particular, the discoveries of blood hormones associated with heart disease which have led to specific blood tests for heart issues, now being used routinely in New Zealand clinics and all around the world.

Otago

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Media:

For Ryman Healthcare comment please contact David King, Corporate Affairs Manager, Ryman Healthcare, on: 021 499 602 or david.king@rymanhealthcare.com

Contact Associate Professor Chris Pemberton, Christchurch Heart Institute, directly on: 03 364 0887 or 027 343 4495. chris.pemberton@otago.ac.nz

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies.  The company owns 36 villages and serves over 11,200 residents in New Zealand and Australia.  Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care. Ryman Healthcare employs more than 5,000 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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