Sale resident Marion Hector completing a questionnaire during the heart and blood vessel assessment.

The Hazelwood Health Study is urging Sale residents invited to participate in heart and blood vessel assessments to book an appointment today.

The study has been assessing participants in Sale since October with testing to end mid-January.

The study is closing in on its target of 165 assessments having tested over 150 residents to date.

“We have had a fantastic response from Sale residents and thank the community for their support,” researcher Brigitte Borg said.

“But we still need residents who have been invited to participate to phone our bookings team on 1800 985 899 and make an appointment.”

The aim of this phase is to take a snapshot of the health of the hearts and blood vessels of adults living in Sale.

Participation involves attending the Hazelwood Health Study Clinic at Central Gippsland Health Service in Sale for two hours.

The appointment will include completing questionnaires, measurements and tests administered by trained researchers in private rooms.

Residents who take part in the assessments will receive a $50 gift card for their time and inconvenience. Information on how to participate will be included in the mailed invitations.

Participants will then be invited to repeat the same assessments on two further occasions; once in three years and again in six years from now.

Sale was selected as the comparison community because it was only minimally exposed to the mine fire smoke and was comparable to Morwell in size, rural location and population characteristics.

Once testing ends in Sale it will relocate to Morwell where a further 300 assessments are expected to take place. Lung function assessments, which have been taking place in Morwell since August, will then start taking place in Sale from mid-January with letters to eligible residents going out later this month.

This research is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.