Highlighting the impact of cardiovascular disease on Australian women

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is often seen as an issue predominantly affecting men. However, aspects of its prevention, treatment and management are increasingly being recognised as unique to women.

On 19 June, the AIHW launched Cardiovascular disease in women—a snapshot of national statistics at the 2019 Women and Heart Disease Forum, held in Sydney. AIHW staff presented key findings at the forum on how heart disease affects women.

A more comprehensive report, Cardiovascular disease in women, was released on 22 July 2019. The report examined the impact of common forms of CVD on Australian women.

CVD, which includes coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure, is a largely preventable and treatable group of conditions. Yet, CVD is a leading cause of illness and death among Australian women. It affects over half a million and accounts for almost one-third of all deaths among Aussie women.

In 2016, more than 22,200 women died of CVD—making it the most deadly disease group for women. Positively, overall rates of acute coronary events (heart attack or unstable angina), stroke and deaths have fallen over recent decades.

However, in younger women there have been smaller improvements in CVD incidence, with hospitalisation rates and stroke incidence increasing.

 

AIHW staff presenting at the 2019 Women and Heart Disease Forum, Sydney.

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