Latest statistics on cardiovascular disease in Australia

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SUMMARY1. The results presented herein summarize the most up-to-date cardiovascular statistics available at this time in Australia. The analysis presented here is based on and extends results published in two Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports, namelyCardiovascular disease: Australian facts 2011and the cardiovascular disease (CVD) section ofAustralia's Health 2012.2. Despite significant improvements in the cardiovascular health of Australians in recent decades, CVD continues to impose a heavy burden on Australians in terms of illness, disability and premature death. Direct health care expenditure for CVD exceeds that for any other disease group.3. The most recent national data have been analysed to describe patterns and trends in CVD hospitalization and death rates, with additional analysis by Indigenous status, remoteness and socioeconomic group. The incidence of and case-fatality from major coronary events has also been examined.4. Although CVD death rates have declined steadily in Australia since the late 1960s, CVD still accounts for a larger proportion of deaths (33% in 2009) than any other disease group. Worryingly, the rate at which the coronary heart disease death rate has been falling in recent years has slowed in younger (35–54 years) age groups.5. Between 1998–99 and 2009–10, the overall rate of hospitalizations for CVD fell by 13%, with declines observed for most major CVDs.6. In conclusion, CVD disease remains a significant health problem in Australia despite decreasing death and hospitalization rates.

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