New data from the Heart Foundation shows the ACT has the lowest rate in the country for deaths and hospital admissions related to heart disease.
Canberrans sit 18% below the national average for deaths from coronary heart disease, which is 54 per 100,000 people in the ACT. Heart disease-related hospital admissions in the Territory are at 24.8 per 10,000 people when compared with the national average of 44.1
According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease deaths are more than 50% higher for Australians in very remote locations, when compared to those living in capital cities.
Where an area sits on the socio-economic scale also influences the data, with obesity and heart disease rates more than 50% higher for Australians living in the most disadvantaged areas of the country.
The Northern Territory has Australia’s highest rate of hospital admissions for heart disease at nearly triple the rate of the ACT, while the 2016 census showed the ACT has the highest proportion of people living in “relatively advantaged” areas.
“It’s no coincidence that regions with the highest rates of heart disease are also the ones likely to be the most disadvantaged areas,” said Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.
“Unsurprisingly, we are also seeing alarming rates of risk factors in these hotspots, which has huge implications for residents’ future heart health.”
The ACT has a smoking rate of 10% compared with a national rate of 15% and the nation’s lowest obesity rate, both considered to be risk factors for heart disease. However, the Heart Foundation says just under two-thirds of Canberrans are not meeting physical activity guidelines.
The data is available on the Heart Foundation’s new interactive Heart Map, which compares data from across the country to illustrate the areas with the greatest need for heart health services and Government investment.
“We also implore everyone to take action to protect their heart health,” Professor Kelly said.
“If you’re 45 and over, or from age 30 if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, talk to your GP about having a Heart Health Check.”
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