MacKillop director joins world experts

Published: Wednesday 15th July 2015

Professor Simon Stewart, Director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, has joined a team of international experts in atrial fibrillation (AF) to co-author a key opinion paper reviewing the best evidence for supporting patients with the deadly and disabling condition – 'Cardiac tachyarrhythmias and patient values and preferences for their management'.

The paper has been published in leading journal Europace, journal of the European Society of Cardiologists and European Heart Rhythm Association.  It recently was announced at the European Society of Cardiology Heart Rhythm Conference in Milan.

Professor Stewart said the paper was another example of the MacKillop’s established research expertise in AF – one of the most common cardiovascular disorders worldwide.

“Chronic AF is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia observed in medical practice and one of the most common cardiovascular disorders overall.  The most serious consequences of AF are stroke and heart failure – often leading to a premature death.  This major document that fits well into our research portfolio of AF management and increases our understanding of patients’ experience of treatment for AF.”

AF places a significant burden on primary care providers and hospitals and cases are expected to double by 2050.
“AF is also becoming more prevalent as a result of increasing levels of key pathways such as advancing age, hypertension and obesity.  This is why our research is so important,” said Professor Stewart.

Professor Stewart said the paper also speaks to the MacKillop’s special focus on helping and advocating for disadvantaged groups in society, across Australia and beyond.

“The MacKillop takes up the call of St Mary MacKillop to ‘never see a need without doing something about it’.   We are not a medical research institute in the traditional sense; our strength is in people and in communities. We aim to undertake world-class research that reaches people wherever there is a need,” said Professor Stewart.