Epidemiology and Prevention Division

About Epidemiology and Prevention

The primary aim of this division is to prevent stroke and other vascular diseases from occurring and to improve risk factor management for these conditions. Our research is being undertaken in Australia and India. We are using population-based settings to assess risk factors for hypertension in rural disadvantaged India and to determine how best to manage hypertension in rural India. In Australia we are using clinical trial methodology and data linkage to assess whether we can improve management of risk factors in survivors of stroke.


Find out about our major projects.

Our collaborations

Find out about our collaborations.

Meet the team

Head of Division

Other staff and students

Research Administration Officer

  • Lana Coleman

PhD candidates

  • Mr David Ung (2016-)
    • Use of chronic disease management plans post-stroke, and association with outcomes
  • Dr Anna Balabanski (2017-)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stroke incidence, mortality and disability
  • Dr Ronil Chandra (2018-)
    • Unruptured cerebral aneurysms: to treat or not to treat?
  • Ms Rajshree Thapa (2018-)
    • Progress and prospects for the control of non-communicable disease
  • Mr Mulugeta Molla Birhanu (2018-)
    • Predicting risk of vascular disease in rural disadvantaged India
  • Dr Sojib Bin Zaman (2019-)
    • Task shifting management pre-diabetes and diabetes in resource-poor settings in rural India
  • Ms Anusha Ramani-Chander (2019-)
    • Applying a systems lens to identify enablers and barriers to the GACD scale-up interventions
  • Dr Zhomart Orman (2019-)
    • Cost-effectiveness of the use of the Chronic Disease Management plans in stroke


Selected Publications

Prof Thrift has more than 260 publications.  See link for all recent publications.

  1. Gamage DG, Riddell MA, Joshi R, Thankappan KR, Chow CK, Oldenburg B, Evans RG, Mahal AS, Kalyanram K, Kartik K, Suresh O, Thomas N, Mini GK, Maulik PK, Srikanth VK, Arabshahi S, Varma RP, Guggilla RK, D’Esposito F, Sathish T, Alim M, Thrift AG (2020). Effectiveness of a scalable group-based education and monitoring program, delivered by health workers, to improve control of hypertension in rural India: a cluster randomised controlled trial. PLOS Medicine 17(1): e1002997.
  2. We demonstrated that a 3-month group-based education program, delivered by health workers, was effective in controlling blood pressure. This low-cost intervention is potentially scalable to other rural regions both in India and elsewhere.

  3. Pandian JD, Gall SL, Kate MP, Silva GS, Akinyemi RO, Ovbiagele BI, Lavados PM, Gandhi DB, Thrift AG (2018). Prevention of stroke: global perspective. The Lancet 392(10154):1269-1278. Ranked 2 of 154 (Medicine, General and Internal). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31269-8.      
    In this paper, we highlight the relatively low-cost global preventive interventions that can be adopted to prevent stroke in low- to middle-income countries.
  4. Thrift AG, Kim J, Douzmanian V, Gall SL, et al. (2014) Discharge is a critical time to influence 10-year use of secondary prevention therapies for stroke. Stroke 45, 539-544.
    We showed that prescription of medications before discharge from hospital is the strongest predictor of ongoing medication use up to 10 years after stroke.
  5. Thrift AG, Olaiya MT, Phan TG, Cadilhac DA, Nelson MR, Srikanth VK on behalf of the STANDFIRM Investigators (2015). Statistical analysis plan (SAP) for STANDFIRM: Shared Team Approach Between Nurses and Doctors For Improved Risk Factor Management ‒ A Randomised Controlled Trial. International Journal of Stroke 10(7):770-772. DOI: 10.1111/ijs.12482  
    Prof Thrift designed and led this study and designed the analysis plan of this randomised controlled trial of a complex intervention.
  6. Thrift AG, Olaiya MT, Phan TG, Cadilhac DA, Nelson MR, Srikanth VK on behalf of the STANDFIRM Investigators (2015). Statistical analysis plan (SAP) for STANDFIRM: Shared Team Approach Between Nurses and Doctors For Improved Risk Factor Management ‒ A Randomised Controlled Trial. International Journal of Stroke 10(5):770-772. DOI:10.1111/ijs.12482  
    This paper provides details the statistical analysis planned for this cluster randomised controlled trial.
  7. Riddell MA, Joshi R , Oldenburg B, Chow C, Thankappan KR, Mahal A, Thomas N, Srikanth VK, Evans RG, Kartik K, Kamakshi K, Maulik PK, …, Alim M, Thrift AG (2016). Cluster randomised feasibility trial to improve the Control ofHypertension In Rural India (CHIRI): a study protocol. BMJ Open 6:e012404. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012404.    
    In this article we describe our GACD intervention to manage hypertension in rural India utilising health workers. This demonstrates our credentials in community interventions in a rural middle income country.
  8. Thrift AG, Cadilhac DA, Thayabaranathan T, Howard G, Howard VJ, Rothwell PM, Donnan GA (2014). Global Stroke Statistics. International Journal of Stroke 9(1):6-18. DOI: 10.1111/ijs.12245      
    Prof Thrift led this international collaboration on the epidemiology of stroke globally. It is one of the four most highly cited articles (69 citations) published in the International Journal of Stroke since 2014. It was so successful that the editors requested an update (published 2017).
  9. Busingye D, Arabshahi S, Evans RG, Srikanth VK, Kartik K, Kalyanram K, ... , Suresh O, Thrift AG. Factors associated with awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a rural South Indian population. J Human Hypertension 31(5):347-353. DOI: 10.1038/jhh.2016.85        
    This article, authored by a PhD student of Professor Thrift, arose from an NHMRC study that she led (GNT1005740). The findings provide evidence that screening for hypertension is essential for better awareness and treatment of hypertension in these rural regions.
  10. Bernhardt J, Langhorne P, Lindley RI, Thrift AG, Ellery F, Collier J, Churilov L, Moodie M, Dewey HM, Donnan GA for the AVERT Trial Collaboration Group (2015). The efficacy and safety of commencing a very early mobilisation protocol within 24 hours of stroke onset: a randomised controlled trial (a very early rehabilitation trial [AVERT]). The Lancet 386:46-55.    
    This paper was the culmination of a large international, multi-centre study. Prof Thrift helped design this study, particularly in the initial statistical plan and sample size calculation.