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New release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Heart, stroke and vascular disease

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A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that 1.2 million Australian adults had one or more conditions related to heart, stroke or vascular disease in 2017–18. Modifiable risk factors such as smoking, insufficient physical activity and uncontrolled high blood pressure are putting millions more at risk.

The report, Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, covers a range of sub types of heart, stroke and vascular disease, including how they impact different populations—for example, by socioeconomic group, remoteness areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

There were 58,700 acute coronary events (including heart attack and unstable angina) and 38,600 stroke events among people aged 25 and over in 2018—this equates to around 161 and 100 events every day, respectively.  Between 1980 and 2019, the number of cardiovascular disease deaths declined by 22%, from 55,800 to 42,300.

While still accounting for 25% of deaths in Australia, the age-standardised death rates have declined by three-quarters over the last 40 years —falling from 700 to 150 per 100,000 for males, and 452 to 107 per 100,000 for females.  Over the same period of time, the number of stroke deaths has declined by 30% from 12,100 to 8,400.

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