Show me:
Show me:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems.

Key takeaways

  • Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart.   
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, causing 1 in 10 deaths. 
  • Healthy living can reduce the risk of heart disease.  
  • To know your risk of heart disease, it's important to get a regular health check with your doctor or health service.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the name for a range of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels. It includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, valve disease, arrhythmias and blood vessel diseases.  

  • A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery blocks or narrows because of a build-up of fatty plaque.  
  • Heart failure: is a long-term condition where your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood to the rest of your body the way it should.  
  • Valve disease: if you have heart valve disease it means your heart’s valves don’t open or close properly.   
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD): if you have had acute rheumatic fever (ARF), this can cause swelling and damage to the valves of your heart leading to RHD.  
  • Arrythmias:is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm. 

The good news is some cases of heart disease can be prevented. Things like not smoking, making healthy food choices and moving more can reduce risk.

Learn more about heart disease, click here.   

Learn how the heart works  

To learn more about how the heart works, click here.

You might also be interested in

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia, but the burden of disease disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Projects aimed at improving the heart health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your cholesterol and triglyceride levels....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

Resources for providing best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Cardiac rehabilitation was a turning point for Kylie and essential to her heart failure recovery....

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

The power of your ongoing support can help save lives and keep more families together. Help us continue to fund promising heart research projects by donating today. ...

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Guidelines, publications and support for the health professional community....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

The national heart and stroke action plan aims to identify and prioritise action to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke....

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Explore some useful things to know about intimacy after a heart attack....

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

How to boost your fruit and vegetable intake to help protect your heart. ...

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. ...

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

Question of the month blog...

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

Resources for providing best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Media Release - 22 February 2021...

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Vascular ageing and cardiovascular disease in high-risk populations...

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Prawn and avocado salad

Prawn and avocado salad

20 minutes
Serves 6

Postdoctoral Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellowship

This fellowship funding will allow a recent PhD graduates to boost their research career and enhance their ability to attract and secure future funding. ...

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Find heart healthy dessert recipes....

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure monitoring at home using a 24-hour blood pressure monitor test....

Intervening in early childhood to improve physical activity and heart health throughout life

Intervening in early childhood to improve physical activity and heart health throughout life

Intervening in early childhood to improve physical activity and heart health throughout life

Professor Kylie Hesketh, Institution: Deakin University...

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

The Heart Foundation is delivering a research webinar series for Heart Foundation research alumni....

Targeting novel lipids in an oral based treatment for the failing heart

Targeting novel lipids in an oral based treatment for the failing heart

Dr Yow Keat Tham, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute...

Aiming high after a stroke

Aiming high after a stroke

Aiming high after a stroke

Sami Kennedy-Sim is an Olympic freestyle skier specialising in Ski Cross. ...

Q&A with A/Prof Lisa Moran

Q&A with A/Prof Lisa Moran

Q&A with A/Prof Lisa Moran

Improving screening and management of women with cardiometabolic conditions during pregnancy...

Heart medicines – Frequently asked questions

Heart medicines – Frequently asked questions

Heart medicines – Frequently asked questions

Find answers below to frequently asked questions about heart medicines. ...