A major health crisis

November 07, 2017

A major risk factor for cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure.


●Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in Australia, with 45392 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2015, and killing one Australian every 12 minutes.

●According to the Heart Foundation, the disease is one of Australia’s largest health problems. Despite improvements in the past few decades, it remains one of the biggest burdens on our economy.

●The issue affects 4.2 million people.

●It claimed the lives of 45392 Australians (almost 50 per cent of all deaths) in 2015, which were largely preventable.

●Lower socio-economic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those living in remote areas had the highest rate of hospitalisation and death from CVD in Australia.

●It is estimated more than 400000 Australians have had a heart attack at some stage in their lives.

●Each year, some 54000 people suffer a heart attack, equating to one heart attack every 10 minutes.

●Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol and smoking. Nine in 10 adult Australians have at least one risk factor for CVD and one in four have three or more risk factors.

●Smoking is the single most important cause of ill health and death in Australia, followed by obesity.

Makingn the right choices

According to the Heart Foundation, many instances of heart health issues can be avoided if a change of lifestyle is implemented.

Below are the foundation’s top tips for improving health.

●Include vegetables, wholegrains, fruit, nuts and seeds in your diet every day.

●Make good fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and cook with their oils.

●Aim for fish or seafood two to three times a week.

●Include beans and legumes in at least two meals a week and up to six eggs a week.

●Keep ‘sometimes’ foods to only sometimes.

●Choose reduced-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt.

●Choose herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.

●Drink water.

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