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Key Statistics: Heart attack

Statistics and information on heart attack in Australia

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. 

Prevalence1

  • 1.6 per cent of people experience a heart attack sometime in their life, equating to 375,000 Australians. 

  • Twice as many men experience heart attacks compared to females. 

  • Positively, the prevalence of heart attacks has been decreasing over time. 

Deaths2

  • 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 per every day. 

  • Considerably more males die from heart attacks compared to females. 

  • Positively, deaths from heart attacks have been decreasing over time, with the death rate due to heart attacks halving over the last ten years when adjusting for population growth and age distribution. 

​​Hospitalisations3

  • 157 people are hospitalised due to a heart attack every day, equating to, on average, one person every nine minutes. 

  • 91 per cent more males are admitted to hospital for heart attacks, compared to females. 

  • Hospitalisations for heart attacks have been decreasing over the last ten years. 

  • $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% annually4. 



References

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, National Health Survey 2017-18, Data customised using TableBuilder 

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Causes of death 2019, cat. No. 3303.0, October 

3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019, National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) 

4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017, Health Expenditure database, custom data request. 

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