I am
Shepparton region tops state for heart hotspots
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Shepparton region tops state for heart hotspots

Media Release - 1 December 2020

Victoria’s Shepparton region tops the state for heart health hotspots, new Heart Foundation data revealed today.

Australian Heart Maps online data show the rate of hospitalisations for heart attack (17.4 per 10,000 people) and coronary heart disease (55.9 per 10,000 people) in the Shepparton region is around 70 per cent higher than the state’s lowest region – Melbourne’s inner east.

This puts the region’s figures – which cover Greater Shepparton, Moira and Campaspe shires – close to 30 per cent higher than the state’s average for both hospitalisation rates.

Similarly, Shepparton region ranks as the state’s top hotspot for obesity rates (39.8 per cent) and high blood pressure (23.7 per cent). These are two leading risk factors for heart disease, which is  Victoria’s single leading cause of death.  

In fact, the data shows the top five regions with the highest rates across three out of four risk factors for heart disease are all found in regional areas of Victoria.

Lighting up as the state and nation’s top regional smoking hotspot, North West Victoria’s smoking rate of 22.2 per cent is more than double that of Melbourne’s more affluent inner east region.

Victoria’s top three regions for obesity rates now also rank in the nation’s top ten - Shepparton region (rank 5), Ballarat region (rank 7), and Latrobe-Gippsland (rank 10).

The Ballarat region, which includes the Maryborough, Beauford, Daylesford and Ballan areas, sees significant obesity rates of 38.7 per cent, while in the state’s east, the Latrobe-Gippsland region is slightly lower at 38.2 per cent.

Ranking third in the state across in three key risk factors for heart disease, the vast Latrobe-Gippsland region has rates of obesity at 38.2 per cent, high blood pressure at 23.5 per cent and smoking at 20.3 per cent.

Overall, Warrnambool South West (73.9 per 100,000 people) and North West Victoria (73.7 per 100,000 people) rank as the top two Victorian regions for coronary heart disease deaths. Their death rate is 20 per cent higher than the state’s average of 61.5.

Of the top five regions with the lowest coronary heart disease deaths, all are in metro Melbourne.

Perhaps surprisingly, Melbourne headed the state’s rankings for the top three most physically active regions, and the bottom three least physically active regions. Physical inactivity in Melbourne’s western region is close to 30 per cent higher than across the Westgate Bridge in the city’s inner east, which is the lowest.

Heart Foundation CEO Victoria, Kellie-Ann Jolly, said when it comes to heart health, a great divide exists between Victoria’s regional communities and their metro counterparts.

What these alarming figures tell us is that social and economic disadvantage matter for your heart.

Victorians who live in the state’s most disadvantaged areas are more likely to have significant risk factors, be hospitalised for heart attack or die from coronary heart disease.

“We know better heart health is linked with secure work, safe affordable housing, good education, access to healthy food and appropriate health services.   

“The burden of heart disease weighs heavy on us all and so it’s time to act to close the metro-regional divide. We need Government, communities, industry and individuals working together to address these inequalities.

“The Heart Foundation is committed to seeing these numbers fall. We will continue to work with key decision-makers to target areas for ‘best buy’ investments in preventative health, support and care services.”

As Victorians finally approach a COVID-normal summer, Ms Jolly urged people to understand their personal risks for heart disease and take steps to address them.

We know people may have put off seeing a doctor this year, but it’s time now to make that appointment. If you’re 45 years and over, or from age 30 if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, I urge you to talk to your GP about having a Heart Health Check.

The Australian Heart Maps is an online tool that allows people to view data for heart disease deaths, hospitalisations and risk factors at a national, state, regional (SA4) and LGA level. 

Media enquiries

Debora McInnes, Senior Media Advisor
M: 0423 827 697 E: debora.mcinnes@heartfoundation.org.au

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

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

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

What is angina?

What is angina?

What is angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that’s a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your kids active and set them up for healthier habits into adulthood....

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

15 minutes
Serves 4

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm....

Mushroom, feta and thyme omelette

Mushroom, feta and thyme omelette

Mushroom, feta and thyme omelette

10 minutes
Serves 1

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

State based advocacy

State based advocacy

State based advocacy activity supporting local communities...

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Find heart healthy kids recipes...

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....

2022 Collaboration and Exchange Award

2022 Collaboration and Exchange Award

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Media Release - 30 June 2020 ...

Seared salmon with lentil salad

Seared salmon with lentil salad

15 minutes
Serves 4

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Sydney Swans join with the Heart Foundation to give Aussie hearts a sporting chance

Media release - 7 July 2021...

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....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

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....

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease means that your heart valve or valves don't open or close properly....

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Get the facts on quitting and how it can help you recover. ...

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Know what your heart medicines are for and how to take them. ...

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests can measure the levels of substances such as blood fat to show if, and how much of, your heart has been damaged....

Nutrition Resources for Patients

Nutrition Resources for Patients

Nutrition Resources for Patients

Resources to help people follow a heart healthy eating pattern in their daily lives. ...