Heart, stroke and vascular disease – also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD – is a broad term that describe the many different diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. The most common and serious types of CVD include coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. CVD remains a major health problem in Australia, despite declining mortality and hospitalisation rates.
Heart, stroke and vascular disease – also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD – is a broad term that describe the many different diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.
Common types of CVD in Australia include coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. These, and other cardiovascular conditions are described separately in this report.
Many forms of CVD are caused by atherosclerosis. This is a condition where deposits of fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the inner lining of the arteries to form plaque. Atherosclerosis can reduce or block blood supply to the heart (causing angina or heart attack) or to the brain (causing stroke). The process leading to atherosclerosis is slow and complex, often starting early in life and progressing with age.
Coronary heart disease also known as ischaemic heart disease, is the most common cardiovascular disease. There are 2 main clinical forms – heart attack and angina. Heart attack – or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) – is a life-threatening event that occurs when a blood vessel supplying the heart is suddenly blocked, threatening to damage the heart muscle and its functions. Angina is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
Stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain either suddenly becomes blocked (ischaemic stroke) or ruptures and begins to bleed (haemorrhagic stroke).
Other common types of CVD:
Web report |
29 Sep 2021
Web report |
03 Aug 2021
591,000 hospitalisations with CVD as principal diagnosis in 2018–19 (5.2% of all hospitalisations)
58,700 acute coronary events (heart attack or unstable angina) among people aged 25 and over—around 161 every day
6.2% of adults (1.2 million) had 1 or more conditions related to heart, stroke or vascular disease in 2017–18
The highest chronic kidney disease hospitalisation rate by Population Health Area was 23 times the national average
Self-reported heart, stroke and vascular disease rates ranged from 2.9% to 8.4% across Primary Health Networks
By Primary Health Network, type 2 diabetes rates were generally higher in regional than in metropolitan areas
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.