4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2015   
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Heart, stroke and vascular disease encompasses a range of circulatory conditions including angina, heart attack and stroke. 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 is associated with modifiable risk factors such as a healthy diet, exercise and avoidance of smoking.[1]


    In this publication, data on heart, stroke and vascular disease refers to persons who reported having been told by a doctor or nurse that they had any of a range of circulatory conditions comprising:
    • ischaemic heart diseases (angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases)
    • cerebrovascular diseases (stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases)
    • oedema
    • heart failure
    • diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries
    and that their condition 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.

    Persons who reported having ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases that were not current and long-term at the time of interview are also included, for the first time. Estimates of heart, stroke and vascular disease for 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2014-15 in this publication are presented using this definition. There is limited comparability between 2007-08 and previous years due to a change in derivation methodology in 2007-08.

In 2014-15, 5.2% of Australians (1.2 million people) had heart disease, an increase from 4.7% in 2011-12 when 1.0 million people had heart disease.

The proportion of people with heart disease increases steadily with age, with almost one-third (30.7%) of all Australians aged 75 years and over having heart disease in 2014-15. It is more common amongst men (5.7%) than women (4.7%).

Graph Image for Proportion of persons with heart, stroke and vascular disease, 2007-08 to 2014-15

Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15

1 Heart Foundation, 2015, Keep your heart healthy <http://heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/keep-your-heart-healthy>; Last accessed 04/12//2015.