Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Australia, with 45,600 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2011. 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 3.7 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 482,000 hospitalisations in 2009-10 and played a secondary role in a further 800,000
- claimed the lives of 45,600 Australians (31% of all deaths) in 2011 - 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 over 21,500 Australians (14% of all deaths) in 2011
- kills 59 Australians each day, or one Australian every 24 minutes.
- It is estimated over 380,000 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 9,811 lives in 2011, or on average, 27 each day.
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:
- Smoking - Smoking is the single most important cause of ill health and death in Australia. In 2011/12, there were 2.8 million Australians aged 18 years and over who smoked daily (or 16.3%)
- Obesity - Close to two in every three (63.3%) adult Australians are overweight or obese, with 28.3% obese and 35% overweight.5 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
- Physical inactivity - In 2011/12, more than two in every three (66.9%) adult Australians were either sedentary or had low levels of exercise
- High cholesterol and high blood pressure - High cholesterol and high blood pressure are risk factors for heart disease. In 2011/12, just over 3.1 million adult Australians (21.5%) had measured high blood pressure. In 2011/12, 6.8% or 1.5 million Australians reported having high cholesterol levels.
For more information, view the factsheets below:
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 2011 (3303.0) March 2013.
- AIHW, National Hospital Morbidity Database 2009/10.
- 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. National Health Survey 2011/12.
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