Current picture for those aged 25–74

  • In 2002, adults from the most disadvantaged areas of Australia had significantly higher death rates from cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke than adults from the least disadvantaged areas—between 1.6 and 1.9 times as high.
  • If everyone experienced the same death rates as those in the least disadvantaged areas, around 28% of deaths from CVD as a whole, 32% of deaths from CHD and 24% of deaths from stroke would have been avoided in 2002. This translates to over 3,400 CVD deaths, which includes 2,300 CHD deaths and 430 stroke deaths. Put another way, these excess deaths can be regarded as being due to socioeconomic inequality.
  • In 2003–04, adults living in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia also had significantly higher hospitalisation rates—a marker for more serious disease— for all CVD, as well as for CHD emergencies and stroke, compared with those living in the least disadvantaged areas. The comparison of the rates of the most and least disadvantaged areas—relative inequality measured as the rate ratio—ranged between 1.3 and 2.4.