Department of Health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and Victoria.

Ischaemic heart disease, which includes angina, blocked arteries of the heart and heart attacks, remains the leading cause of death in Victoria for both males and females. It accounts for 11.67 per cent of all deaths (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018).

Several heart disease risk factors are modifiable and include:

  • smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • inactivity
  • overweight and obesity
  • unhealthy diet
  • depression and social isolation (Heart Foundation 2018).

Overall, people in lower socioeconomic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those living in remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisation and death resulting from heart disease than other Australians (Heart Foundation 2018).

Prevalence of heart disease is higher among the lowest socioeconomic group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Heart Foundation 2018).

The prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed heart disease in Victorians was 7.3 per cent, with significantly higher prevalence observed in males at 9.0 per cent than in females at 5.8 per cent. (Department of Health and Human Services 2018).

Find out more

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 has a section on cancer.

The Heart FoundationExternal Link has information on heart disease and its prevention.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Causes of death, Victoria, 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.

Heart Foundation 2018 Heart attack risk factors Heart Foundation, Melbourne.

Department of Health and Human Services 2018 Victorian population health survey 2016 State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

Reviewed 10 March 2023

Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018

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