Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 19 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 29 September 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 May. 19]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, viewed 19 May 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
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Burden of disease is a measure of the years of healthy life lost from living with, or dying from disease and injury.
The measure used is the ‘disability adjusted life year’ (DALY). This combines health loss from living with illness and injury (non-fatal burden, or YLD) and dying prematurely (fatal burden, or YLL) to estimate total health loss (total burden, or DALY).
Burden of disease estimates seek to capture both the quantity and health-related quality of life, and to reflect the magnitude, severity and impact of disease and injury within a population. Burden of disease does not quantify the social or financial consequences of disease and injury.
Further information can be found in Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015.
In 2018, Australians lost an estimated 646,000 years of healthy life (DALY) due to all forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), equivalent to 21.7 per 1,000 population (AIHW 2021).
CVD as a disease group accounted for almost 13% of the total burden of disease (15% males, 11% females), ranking third behind cancer and other neoplasms, and muskuloskeletal conditions (Figure 1).
The tree map shows the contribution of the major disease groups to the total burden of disease in Australia in 2018. CVD ranks third behind cancer and other neoplasms and musculoskeletal conditions. Within the CVD disease group, coronary heart disease and stroke represent the major contributors to disease burden.
In 2018, the burden from CVD:
The bar chart shows the burden of disease for cardiovascular disease in 2018 increased with age, and was higher among males than females in all age groups, except for those aged 100 and over.
The burden from CVD fell by 41% between 2003 and 2018—age-standardised rates of 36 and 22 DALY per 1,000 population.
The fall in the burden from CHD between 2003 and 2018 (50%) was higher than for stroke (44%).
The 12% fall in the burden from CVD between 2003 and 2018 (–90,000 DALY) was driven by change in the amount of disease (–51%), by population growth (+23%) and by population ageing (+16%).
Leading causes contributing to the CVD burden of disease in 2018 include coronary heart disease, stroke and atrial fibrillation (Figure 1).
Congenital heart disease was a leading contributor to the burden of disease among infants aged less than 1 year.
The table shows coronary heart disease was the leading cause of total disease burden for males from the age of 45 and over. Coronary heart disease was the second leading cause of disease burden among females aged 75 and over. Stroke was a top 5 cause of disease burden for males and females aged 75–84 and 85 and over.
Burden of disease estimates are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for the year 2011 (AIHW 2016):
A portion of burden of disease is preventable, being due to modifiable health risk factors. The Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 has estimated the disease burden which can be attributed to these modifiable risk factors (AIHW 2021).
Of the total burden of CVD in Australia in 2018, 68% was attributable to the risk factors included in the study.
The leading risk factors contributing to the total CVD burden in 2018 include high blood pressure (36%), dietary risks (31%), overweight (including obesity) (22%), high cholesterol (21%) and tobacco use (11%) (Figure 4).
Note that as each risk factor was analysed separately, percentages cannot be added together, and do not add up to the joint effect of all risk factors.
The bar chart shows high blood pressure was the leading risk factor attributed to the burden of cardiovascular disease in 2018, followed by dietary risks, overweight and obesity and high cholesterol.
Estimations of the contribution of risk factors varied across individual cardiovascular conditions (AIHW 2021):
AIHW 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011. Cat. no. BOD 7. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019a. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 19. Cat. no. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019b. Australian Burden of Disease Study: methods and supplementary material 2015. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 20. Cat. no. BOD 23. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2021. Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 – Key findings. Cat. no. BOD 30. Canbera: AIHW.
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