Closing the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:
- 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular disease1
- three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack2
- more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease2
- 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease3
- more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.3
The Heart Foundation is a co-signatory to the national Close the Gap campaign. We are committed to improving the life expectancy and quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. No plan or strategy can successfully address these health challenges unless it specifically addresses heart, stroke and blood vessel disease.
For more than a decade, the Heart Foundation has been building knowledge and experience in improving the cardiovascular health of Indigenous Australians. We have strengthened our commitment to this challenge through our Championing hearts strategic plan for 2008–2012.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2004 05, Cat. No. CVD 29, June 2008.
- AIHW: Mathur S, Moon L, Leigh S. 2006. Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people with coronary heart disease: further perspectives on health status and treatment. Cardiovascular disease series no. 25. Cat. No. CVD 33. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Heart, stroke and vascular diseases Australian facts 2004. AIHW Cat. No. CVD 27. Canberra: AIHW and National Heart Foundation of Australia (Cardiovascular Disease Series No. 22).
Please visit Close the Gap.
Close the Gap – 2015 Progress and Priorities (PDF).