Cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012, ischaemic heart diseases, which include angina, blocked arteries of the heart and heart attacks, were the leading cause of death for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. However, the age-standardised death rate for ischaemic heart diseases was nearly twice as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as that for non-Indigenous Australians.1
The main indicators of cardiovascular disease that were measured in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey (NATSIHMS) were cholesterol, including total, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides.
Blood pressure and obesity are also important measures associated with cardiovascular risk and were measured in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS). Detailed information on the prevalence of high blood pressure and obesity can be found in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012–13.
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Causes of Death, Australia 2012 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0/>,