10 heart disease trends

heart cardiovascular graph stethoscropt

Are CVD-related deaths going up or down? Here’s the latest based on data collected between 1980 and 2015

1. Death rates from cardiovascular disease have fallen considerably since the late 1960s.

2. But the fall in CVD death rates has slowed among some age groups, including 35-54 year olds (slowing from 7.2 to 3.1% per year) and 55-64 year olds (slowing from 6% to 2.2% per year).

3. Rates of decline have improved for those aged 85 and over (from 1.9% to 2.8%).

4. The general slowing of falls in CVD death rates are concerning, given the high disease burden, and potential social and economic impacts, says AIHW researchers. Similar trends have been seen in the US and UK.

5. Coronary heart disease death rates have fallen substantially in each age group.

6. Three-quarters (74%) of coronary heart disease deaths in 2015 were of people aged 75 and over, and less than half (44%) were women.

7. In 2015, heart attack was the underlying cause of death for 8,400 Australians – making up 5% of total deaths.

8. Between 1980 and 2015, the age-standardised death rate for heart attack fell by 86%.

9. The rate of decline for heart attack death rates is slowing among most age groups except older age groups.

10. Cerebrovascular disease death rates have fallen substantially across all age groups, falling by 74% within 35 years.

Source: Trends in cardiovascular deaths, Bulletin 141, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, published online 21 September 2017.

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