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4338.0 - Profiles of Health, Australia, 2011-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013  First Issue
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HEART DISEASE

Heart, stroke and vascular disease encompasses a range of circulatory conditions including ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, oedema, heart failure, and diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries. Most commonly this group of conditions is referred to under the broader term of 'heart disease' (or 'cardiovascular disease'). Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and therefore an emphasis has been placed around preventing its onset through modifying risk factors such as healthy eating, exercise and avoidance of smoking.

    Data source and definitions

    Data on heart disease refers to persons who reported having been told by a doctor or nurse that they had any of a range of circulatory conditions including ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, oedema, heart failure, and diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries and that it was current and long-term; that is, their condition was current at the time of interview and had lasted, or was expected to last, 6 months or more.

    Information on cardiovascular disease biomarkers, including cholesterol, will be available upon release of results from the National Health Measures Survey in August 2013.

In 2011-12, 5.0% of persons aged 2 years and over (1.1 million people) had heart disease. The prevalence of heart disease amongst persons aged 2 years and over remained stable between 2007-08 and 2011-12 (5.4% in 2007-08).

The proportion of people with heart disease increased steadily with age. More than one quarter (29.2%) of all Australians aged 75 years and over had heart disease, and the highest rate was for men aged 85 years and over (47.1%). Heart disease was more common amongst men (5.5%) than women (4.5%).

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Proportion with heart disease(a), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) Includes heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases, stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, oedema, heart failure and diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12


The proportion of people with heart disease increased as the level of disadvantage increased. People living in areas of most disadvantage were more likely to have heart disease compared with those living in areas of least disadvantage (6.5% compared with 3.3%).

In 2011-12, of those who had a heart, stroke or vascular condition:
  • 582,400 persons had ischaemic heart disease (includes angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases);
  • 297,800 persons had oedema and heart failure;
  • 253,000 persons had stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases; and
  • 184,800 persons had diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over with heart, stroke and vascular disease - Prevalence by type, 2011-12

Footnote(s): As persons can report having more than one type of heart, stroke and vascular condition, summing the types of heart, stroke and vascular disease will result in a higher total than the total number of persons with heart, stroke and vascular conditions.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12


Previous results for heart disease

National Health Survey 2007–08, 2004–05, 2001, 1995
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2004-05

Other articles on heart disease

Causes of Death, Australia, 2010: Circulatory diseases and cancers
The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008: Health conditions and illness
Australian Social Trends, 2007: Selected chronic conditions among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Cardiovascular Disease in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
Health of Older People in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
Changes in health: A snapshot, 2004-05
Australian Social Trends, 2002: Mortality and Morbidity: Cardiovascular disease: 20th century trends


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