Facts about heart disease

Cardiovascular disease is one of the world's leading health problems. In Australia alone, it affects one in six people and two out of three families. 

Some sobering statistics

Every 12 minutes, an Australian dies from cardiovascular disease

That's 125 people dying from cardiovascular disease every day. 1

Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australian women.

Women are almost three times more likely to die of it than breast cancer. 2

In 2013, cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of 43,603 Australians.

That is 30% of all deaths... deaths that are largely preventable.4

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 10.5 times more likely to die from coronary heart disease

Than non-Indigenous Australians. 5

For these reasons and many more, cardiovascular disease is one of the world's most pressing health problems. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better.
Find out more about heart disease in Women
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

A gathering storm

While advances in medical research continue to create the potential to increase life expectancy and quality of life... the community at large isn’t playing their part. Increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in the community are creating a virtual tsunami of cardiovascular disease in the years to come.

The Health of Australia

90 per cent of Australians have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Modifiable factors include poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and non-modifiable risk factors including age, sex, family history and ethnicity. 6

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease.

1.7 million Australians have diabetes with a new person diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes.7

It is estimated that 17 million people around the world died from cardiovascular disease in 2008

Due to the growing epidemics of diabetes and obesity, this number is expected to surge to 23 million by 2030.8

How our research is saving lives

Established 28 years ago, the Heart Research Institute is an internationally recognised medical research institute performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research. We have 12 research groups, each looking at a different aspect of cardiovascular disease.

Today, our work is more relevant than ever.



1, 4, 5 Data and Statistics - Australian Heart Foundation 2014 , 2 Women and Heart Disease - The Australian Heart Foundation, 3 The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2014, 6 Australia’s Health 2012, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 7 Diabetes Australia, 8 World Health Organisation