Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of illness and death among Australian women.

Some aspects of CVD risk factors, prevention, presentation, treatment, management and outcomes are unique to women, and these gender differences are increasingly being recognised.

Chronic conditions, including CVD, are priorities for action in the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 (Department of Health 2018).

This report looks at the impact on women of common forms of CVD – coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy – including:

  • the number of women with CVD
  • hospitalisations
  • procedures performed in hospitals
  • deaths
  • the burden of disease
  • the impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

In 2017–18:

an estimated 510,000 Australian women had CVD

206,000 women had coronary heart disease

37,000 women had heart failure

In 2016:

22,200 women died from CVD – or 3 in 10 of all female deaths

In 2012–13:

Indigenous women were almost twice as likely as non-Indigenous women to have CVD