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Death rates from cardiovascular disease are declining, but it still claims the lives of 55,000 Australians a year, according to a report to be released on Friday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Reporting from a national system established to monitor cardiovascular disease and its impact, Surveillance of Cardiovascular Mortality Australia, 1983-1994 provides a detailed statistical profile for cardiovascular disease and its major components for Australia and for each State and Territory.
'Coronary heart disease and stroke alone claimed 43,000 deaths in 1994,' Dr Indra Gajanayake one of the report's authors said. 'Far too many Australians remain at a high risk of cardiovascular disease through cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight and lack of exercise.'
Dr Gajanayake said that while cardiovascular disease is still a big killer, it is causing fewer deaths per million population now compared to the early 1980s.
'Death rates from cardiovascular disease have declined annually by 3.5% in males and 3.2% in females, and more rapidly than death rates from all causes which are declining annually at 1.9% for males and 1.6% for females.' she said.
Coronary heart disease continues to account for the majority of deaths from cardiovascular disease and death rates are declining by 3.7% annually in males and 2.9% in females.
Other findings in the report include:
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