Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Australia, with 43,946 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2012. Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes.
Cardiovascular disease is one of Australia's largest health problems. Despite improvements over the last few decades, it remains one of the biggest burdens on our economy.
- is heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases
- kills one Australian every 12 minutes
- affects one in six Australians or 3.72 million
- prevents 1.4 million people from living a full life because of disability caused by the disease
- affects two out of three families
- CVD was the main cause for 523,805 hospitalisations in 2011/12 and played a secondary role in a further 800,000
- claimed the lives of 43,946 Australians (30% of all deaths) in 2012 - deaths that are largely preventable
- lower socioeconomic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those living in remote areas had the highest rate of hospitalisation and death resulting from CVD in Australia.
Coronary heart disease or heart disease:
- affects around 1.4 million Australians
- claimed the lives of 20,046 Australians (13% of all deaths) in 2012
- kills 55 Australians each day, or one Australian every 26 minutes.
- It is estimated over 340,000 Australians have had a heart attack at some time in their lives.
- Each year, around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. This equates to one heart attack every 10 minutes.
- Heart attack claimed 9,286 lives in 2012, or on average, 26 each day.
For more information, view the factsheets below:
Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol and smoking. Nine in 10 adult Australians have at least one risk factor for CVD and one in four (25%) have three or more risk factors.
Below are some of the statistics on risk factors:
Clinical risk factors
- In 2011/12, 3.13 million adult Australians (32%) aged 18 years and over had high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg or taking medication).
- In 2011/12, one third of adult Australians aged 18 years and over had measured high cholesterol. This represents 5.59 million adult Australians.
Lifestyle risk factors
- Smoking is the single most important cause of ill health and death in Australia. In 2011/12, one in six Australians aged 15 years and over smoked daily.
- In 2011/12, close to two in every three (63%) adult Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, with 27.5% obese and 35.3% overweight. The prevalence of overweight and obesity since 1995 has increased by 12%. Adult males were more likely to be overweight or obese than adult females.
- In 2011/12, more than a third (39%) of adult Australians aged over 15 do very little or no exercise at all.
For more information, view the factsheets below:
Heart Foundation CVD Prevalence Maps – 2014
The Heart Foundation has analysed and mapped the hotspots for cardiovascular disease across Australia.
The data, released in August 2014, has been analysed from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Health Survey 2011/12 and is based on Australians aged 18 years of age and over. It does not include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and due to the low population and insufficient ABS data, we are unable to provide a true representation of CVD prevalence in the Northern Territory.
The data shows Australians living outside capital cities are at significantly greater risk (26%) of the nation’s biggest killer, CVD, with one in four people living in regional and rural areas are suffering from the disease compared to one in five in metropolitan areas.
You can view the CVD Prevalence Maps, which breaks downs states and territories into regions:
For more information read our media release.
The data is not age standardised (as this could not be done by the ABS at low levels), and is based on the Australian Health Survey 2011/12 results. The CVD prevalence tables and maps are for persons aged 18+ only and do not include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
CVD prevalence includes all persons aged 18+ with diseases of the circulatory system which includes a range of circulatory conditions such as ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, oedema, heart failure, and diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries.
Due to the low population and insufficient ABS data, we are unable to provide a true representation of CVD prevalence in the Northern Territory.
Victorian Heart Maps
The Victorian Heart Maps show rate of hospitalisation for heart attack, unstable angina, and heart failure by Victorian local government area. The maps use data from the Victorian Department of Health that recorded hospital admissions for heart attack for people aged 30-years and over for a five-year period: 2007-08 to 2011-12.
Hospital admission data is linked to the local government area where the patient lived, not the local government area where hospital treatment was provided.
The maps also show risk factors for heart disease and socio-demographic data by local government area.
Click here for the Victorian Heart Maps
- National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2007 (Report by Vos T and Begg S, Centre for Burden of Disease and Cost effectiveness, University of Queensland School of Population Health). The burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia for the year 2003.
- National Heart Foundation, 2005. The shifting burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia. Report by Access Economics Pty Limited.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Death 2012 (3303.0) March 2014.
- AIHW, National Hospital Morbidity Database 2011/12.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2008. Health care expenditure on cardiovascular diseases 2004-05. Cardiovascular disease series no 30. Cat. no. CVD 43. Canberra AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011. Cardiovascular disease: Australian facts 2011. Cardiovascular disease series. Cat. no. CVD 53. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey 2011/12.
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