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Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Statistics and information on Cardiovascular disease in Australia. 

1 min read

The Heart Foundation collects the most up-to-date data and statistics on a range of cardiovascular diseases. This information covers the prevalence, deaths and hospitalisations of these diseases where data is available, as well as information regarding risk factors to developing cardiovascular diseases. 

The statistics provided are drawn from a variety of sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). This information is combined with Heart Foundation survey data of the professional, patient and general populations.  

Alongside providing the Heart Foundation with vital information regarding the burden of cardiovascular diseases in Australia and the challenge we face, this information provides a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, healthcare policy makers, media professionals, the public and others who seek the best national data available on cardiovascular diseases in Australia. 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term that includes heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases, and is one of Australia’s largest health problems. It accounts for one in four of all deaths, claiming the life of one person every 12 minutes. 

Explore the latest statistics relating to cardiovascular disease (CVD) below: 

                                             

Prevalence1

  • One in six Australians self-report as living with CVD, accounting for more than 4 million Australians. 

  • This represents 16.6% of the total Australian population living with CVD. 

  • Positively, the prevalence of CVD has been decreasing over time (declining approximately 80% since the 1980’s), due to research into risk factors, medications and interventions.  

  • Regardless, CVD is still one of the most prevalent diseases in Australia. 

Deaths2

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, responsible for causing one in four (26%) of all deaths 

  • This means that on average, 118 Australians die from CVD each day, or one person every 12 minutes. 

  • Forty per cent more males die from CVD compared to females, while 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 death resulting from CVD than other Australians⁴. 

  • Deaths from cardiovascular disease have decreased over the last 10 years, when adjusting for population growth and age distribution. 

Hospitalisations3

  • Someone is hospitalised for CVD every minute, equating to a total of 1619 hospitalisations per day. 

  • More men are admitted for CVD each year than women. 

  • Approximately $5 billion is spent on providing health care services to admitted patients with CVD each year, accounting for 11.1 percent of total admitted health expenditure – the largest share of health expenditure of any disease group⁵. 


References

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, National Health Survey 2017-18, Data customised using TableBuilder 

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Causes of Death 2019, cat. no. 3303.0, October 

3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020, National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) 

4. https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/health-professional-tools/Interactive-Heart-Map-Australia 

5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017, Australian Health Expenditure – demographics and diseases: hospital admitted patient expenditure 2004-05 to 2012-13, Supplementary tables, Health Expenditure and Welfare series no. 59, cat. No. HWE 69 

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