10 Facts You May Not Have Known About Heart Disease

heart disease

A heart attack is a sudden blockage of the blood supply to an area of the heart. This means that the heart muscle isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to effectively pump blood to the rest of the body.

  1. 1.6 per cent of people experience a heart attack sometime in their life, equating to 375,000 Australians.
  2. Twice as many men experience heart attacks compared to females.
  3. Heart attacks are responsible for causing almost one in 20 deaths. This equates to one person dying of a heart attack every 74 minutes, or on average 19 people every day.
  4. $680 million is spent on health care services related to patients admitted to hospital for heart attacks, with this expenditure rising on average 3.6% annually
  5. High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a common condition of the circulatory system and is widely recognised as the leading risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). 33.7% of Australian adults have high blood pressure but surprisingly, just 5% of adults nominate high blood pressure as a key risk factor for heart disease.
  6. High blood cholesterol is a significant risk factor for developing CVD. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance necessary to make hormones and vitamin D, and to help you digest food. Your body produces cholesterol, and it’s also in some foods.  Prevalence of high cholesterol is highest amongst those aged 55 to 64 years of age.
  7. A large proportion of Australian adults are considered overweight or obese. This means that their body mass index (BMI) is 25 or over. Shockingly just one in four adults believe that being overweight or obese is a key risk factor to developing heart disease.
  8. What you eat and drink impacts on several heart disease risk factors such as your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Ninety-two percent of Australian adults do not meet the recommended intake for vegetables (5+ servings of vegetables a day), with this proportion increasing over the past two decades.
  9. Improving vegetable intake to meet the recommended five serves per day is estimated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 16%
  10. Let’s debunk one myth that has been around for a while; Are dark chocolate and red wine are good for my heart?  You might have heard this myth over a glass of red at a dinner party with a vague reference to antioxidants and polyphenols. Unfortunately, it’s a classic case of it being a bit too good to be true.

For over 60 years, the Heart Foundation has been the trusted peak body working to improve heart disease prevention, detection, and support for all Australians. These stats and figures were sourced from their website: heartfoundation.org.au

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