Heart Disease in Australia

Heart disease was responsible for a third of all Australian deaths in 2010, killing 45,500 people and affecting two out of every three families. In 2009-10, there were 482,000 hospitalisations directly caused by heart disease, and 800,000 hospitalisations where heart disease was a secondary factor. Incidence of risk factors for heart disease remain high: more than 60% of Australians are overweight, and only 1 in 3 people get sufficient daily exercise. Population growth and ageing are expected to increase risk factors dramatically over the next 20 years.

Heart disease also has an enormous financial cost, comprising about 11% of the total health budget, and this is expected to rise even further. For these reasons, overcoming cardiovascular disease is one of the most important global medical problems.

A few facts about Heart Disease:

  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the term used for heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases.
  • It is the leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for 31.7% of all deaths in 2010.
  • Heart Disease now affects 1 in every 6 Australians and 2 out of 3 families. Affecting a total of 3.7 million Australians.
  • 1 Australian dies from heart disease every 12 minutes.
  • Australian Women are almost 3 times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.

The proportion of Australian adults with risk factors is HIGH:

  • 60% are overweight - 7.42 million adults
  • 51% have high blood cholesterol - 6.4 million adults
  • 30% have high blood pressure - 3.69 million adults
  • 20% smoke daily - 3.06 million adults
  • 10% drink at levels considered harmful to health - 1.54 million adults
  • 8% have diabetes - 945,600 adults.
  • The prevalence of heart, stroke and vascular conditions increased by 18.2% over the last decade.

Heart Disease risk factors:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Alcohol and smoking

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