Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major burden on the Australian community and health care system. It is the single largest cause of death and disability, and has the highest expenditure for any one disease group.
The Australian Institute Health & Welfare (AIHW) estimated 4.2 million Australian adults had one or more cardiovascular disease in 2014-15, which is nearly a quarter of our population.
- 1 in 5 Australian adults have CVD, and 1 in 4 Indigenous Australians
- Nearly 1 in 3 deaths are due to CVD – that’s 45,400 deaths caused by CVD, with a further 41,000 deaths as an associated cause of death
- Over 1.1 million hospitalisations for CVD in 2015-16, which is 11% of all hospitalisations
Prevalence increases with remoteness (25% in inner regional Australia versus 21% in metropolitan areas) and socioeconomic disadvantage (25% compared to 20% in higher socioeconomic groups). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the heaviest burden, with 27% of their population affected (compared to 21% of non-Indigenous people), and a mortality rate 1.9 times higher than the non-Indigenous population.