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The changing face of cardiovascular care in Australia

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Realising the promised gains of cardiovascular innovation will demand an increase in clinical cardiac decision-making capacity

Modern cardiovascular care has been blessed with therapeutic innovations that have reduced morbidity and mortality. From invasive management for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to nurse-led heart failure management programs and anticoagulation for stroke prophylaxis in atrial fibrillation (AF), therapeutic advances have led not only to improved cardiovascular outcomes, but also the need for greater sophistication in balancing benefits with harms and costs (Box). With such complexity, decisions about management increasingly require access to risk stratification and evidence-based clinical decision support.

In this issue of the Journal, we commence a series of articles aimed at reviewing current and future challenges in cardiac care, including new diagnostic and management approaches to chest pain, primary prevention strategies based on absolute cardiovascular disease risk, and acute and chronic care of coronary heart disease (CHD), AF and heart failure.

The evolving cardiovascular disease burden

Ongoing monitoring of cardiovascular outcomes by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has…