Racial Inequities in Cardiovascular Disease in New Zealand
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The literature is replete with studies pertaining to ethnic inequities in healthcare. A thorny subject that has been described for decades and yet has few remedial solutions. The pattern of ethnic inequities in healthcare is a global phenomenon that is not confined to any specific race or culture. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the topmost cause of death and a substantial burden on healthcare resources. In New Zealand CVD is the leading cause of death, accounting for 40% of all deaths annually. Diminished life expectancy is one example of racial inequity in healthcare between Māori and Pākehā (the non-indigenous population). This review attempts to clarify the muddy waters of 175 years of post-colonial healthcare inequity in New Zealand and in particular the causes of inequity in the incidence of CVD and mortality in Māori . Such dialogue will hopefully stimulate discussion among policy makers and clinicians to redress the ethnic inequities in healthcare.