Health-care expenditure for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher than for any other disease group and the impact of CVD on the health of Australians is considerable. This report draws upon data from the AIHW Disease Expenditure Database to provide a summary of health-care expenditure for CVD in Australia in 2008-09 as well as an overview of how this expenditure has changed in the last decade.

The report is based primarily on CVD expenditure for the following health-care sectors: hospital admitted patient services, out-of-hospital medical expenses and prescription pharmaceuticals.

Main findings

  • CVD has the highest level of health-care expenditure of any disease group in Australia, ranking it ahead of oral health, mental disorders and musculoskeletal conditions. In 2008-09, estimated expenditure for CVD, allocated by health-care sector, was $7,605 million-12% of all allocated health-care expenditure in Australia.
  • CVD expenditure has remained relatively stable at around 12% of all health-care expenditure for the period 2000-01 to 2008-09.
  • Coronary heart disease expenditure accounted for over one-quarter of CVD expenditure in 2008-09 (27%).
  • Hospital admitted patient services accounted for most CVD expenditure (conservatively estimated at $4,460 million), followed by prescription pharmaceuticals ($1,648 million) and out-of-hospital medical expenses ($1,497 million), in 2008-09.
  • After adjusting for inflation, the biggest increase in annual CVD health-care expenditure from 2000-01 to 2008-09 was for hospital admitted patient services, which increased by 55%.