Cardiovascular disease fact sheet
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to all diseases and conditions involving the heart and blood vessels. The main types of CVD in Australia are coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure/cardiomyopathy. (1)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia. There were 45,392 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2015. On average, one Australian dies as a result of CVD every 12 minutes. (2)
CVD accounted for nearly 30% of all deaths in Australia in 2015, including 27% for males and 30% for females. In the past 10 years (2006 to 2015) remained on par from 45,670 to 45,392. (2)
CVD was the main cause for 490,000 hospitalisations in 2014/15. The number of hospital separations due to CVD has increased by 8% from 2004/05 to 2014/15. (3)
One in six Australians are affected by cardiovascular disease, accounting for more than 4.2 million Australians. (4)
CVD prevalence increases with age, with 36% of Australians aged 55-64 reporting a long term CVD condition, increasing to 66% for Australians aged 75 and over. (4)
Overall, people in the lower socioeconomic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those living in regional and remote areas generally have higher rates of hospitalisation and death resulting from CVD than other Australians. (1)
Lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease
A higher burden of risk factors is associated with a higher lifetime risk of death from CVD. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, overweight or obesity, and physical inactivity. (5)
Men aged 55 years with at least two major risk factors were six times as likely to die from CVD by age 80 than men with no or one CVD risk factor (29.6% vs. 4.7%). (5)
Women aged 55 years with at least two major risk factors were three times as likely to die from CVD by age 80 than men with no or one CVD risk factor. (5)
Men aged 45 years with two or more risk factors had a 49.5 per cent chance of having a cardiovascular event by age 80. Men with no risk factors only had a 1.4 per cent chance of having a cardiovascular event by age 80. (5)
Women aged 45 years old with two or more risk factors had a 30.7 per cent chance of having a major cardiovascular event by age 80. Women with no risk factors only had a 4.1 per cent chance of having a major cardiovascular event by age 80. (5)
Burden of disease
Cardiovascular disease is the second largest cause of disease burden in Australia; accounting for 18% of the total burden of disease. (6)
CVD remains the most expensive disease group in Australia, costing about $7.47 billion in 2008-09 with more than half spent on patients admitted to hospital.
- 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. Causes of death 2015 (3303.0). September 2016.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015. Australian hospital statistics 2014–15. Health services series no. 54. Cat. no. HSE 145. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey 2014/2015.
- Berry, J.D, 2012. Lifetime Risks of Cardiovascular Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(4), 321-329.
- Begg S, Vos T, Barker B, Stevenson C, Stanley L, Lopez AD, 2007. The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. PHE82.