4364.0.55.005 - Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12  
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Contents >> Cardiovascular disease >> Dyslipidaemia


Dyslipidaemia refers to a number of different lipid disorders (that is, conditions where there are too many fats in the blood). Estimates of dyslipidaemia from the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS) can be used to determine how many Australians have at least one lipid disorder and therefore have an increased risk of heart disease.

    Data source and definitions

    In the NHMS, a person was classified as having dyslipidaemia if they had one or more of the following:
    • Taking cholesterol-lowering medication
    • Total cholesterol greater than or equal to 5.5 mmol/L
    • HDL cholesterol less than 1.0 mmol/L for men and less than 1.3 mmol/L for women
    • LDL cholesterol greater than or equal to 3.5 mmol/L
    • Triglycerides greater than or equal to 2.0 mmol/L.

In 2011–12, 63.2% of people aged 18 years and over had dyslipidaemia. This comprised 13.8% who took some form of cholesterol-lowering medication and 49.4% who took no medication but had either high total cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol or high triglyceride levels based on their test results. There was no significant difference in rates of dyslipidaemia between men and women (63.7% compared with 62.8%).

The risk of heart disease generally increases with age, particularly after the age of 45. In 2011–12, 76.4% of people aged 45 years and over had dyslipidaemia. However, rates were also high for those aged under 45 years, with nearly half (49.8%) of those aged 18–44 having at least one lipid disorder.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion with dyslipidaemia, 2011-12

For more information on dyslipidaemia, see Table 10 on the Downloads page of this publication.

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