In support of ‘Making the Invisible Visible’

Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australian men – that’s a fact. What is less well-known is that it is also the biggest killer of Australian women. 

Heart disease, particularly in women, is often a seemingly invisible condition. But it can have a devastating impact on those that it touches. With the long-standing focus being the impact on men, it’s time to make the invisible visible.

This June, the Heart Research Institute stands in support of the Heart Foundation’s ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ campaign, and shines the spotlight on heart disease in women.

Sobering statistics

  • Every hour of every day, heart disease claims the life of one Australian woman. That’s 24 women every day.
  • One in five women has cardiovascular disease, and more than one in three women will die from it.
  • Women are three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.

Dispelling the myths

While it’s often considered an older person’s condition, heart disease does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages, including younger women. In fact, over 6% of the deaths of women under 54 can be attributed to heart disease. 

A heart attack is also often preceded by chest pain. However, research has found that more than 40% of women will not experience chest pain before they suffer a heart attack. So what are the signs?

Knowing the signs

Heart attack symptoms in women tend to be more subtle than in men and easily mistaken for other health conditions. Women are more likely to experience non-chest pain symptoms of a heart attack, such as:

  • Pain in the jaw, back or neck
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting and cold sweats
  • Overwhelming weakness or fatigue
  • Anxiety, lethargy and loss of appetite.


Knowing the warning signs could save your life or the life of someone you know. Let’s make the invisible visible and help protect the hearts of the women we love.

Making the invisible visible

It’s easy to get involved and show your support! Simply:

  • Make a red heart visible somewhere on your body, or capture your heart health message in a photo or short video, then
  • Share it on social media with the hashtag #womenshearts to raise vital awareness of this crucial issue.

Want to know more?

Download our Women and Heart Disease information pack.


Related news

Want to help heart research? Donate blood

Our Thrombosis Group is conducting groundbreaking research to discover new ways to prevent heart attack and stroke, with the focus on blood clots. But to continue this vital work, we need your help.

Read more

HRI awarded Best Scientific Presentation Award at SOMANZ

HRI's Dr Katrina Chau has been awarded Best Scientific Presentation at the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting held by the Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (SOMANZ) in conjunction with the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS). 

Read more

How to grow a human

Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding stages of life for a woman. Decisions about health and nutrition at this point can significantly affect the lifelong health of both the mother and their baby. In the end, the goal of good pregnancy nutrition is to provide adequate nutrients that will promote optimum health in both.
Read more