Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 07 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 29 September 2021, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 Dec. 7]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, viewed 7 December 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/hsvd-facts
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Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Australia today (AIHW 2019). Over one third of CVD deaths and one quarter of acute coronary syndrome hospitalisations in Australia for people aged less than 65 have been attributed to smoking (Banks et al. 2019).
Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising blood pressure, decreasing physical activity tolerance and lowering blood levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol. As tobacco smoke is absorbed into the bloodstream, it damages blood vessels, increases the risk of plaques and clots, and reduces blood oxygen levels.
Giving up smoking is associated with greatly improved cardiovascular function, improved quality of life and reduced risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
While there have been reductions in smoking over the past 40 years, largely attributable to public health strategies (OECD 2019), the proportion of people continuing to smoke is still concerning, particularly in some population groups.
In 2019, based on results from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey:
CVD mortality has been estimated to be almost 3 times as high in current smokers than never-smokers. Quitting smoking by age 45 avoids almost all of the excess risk of CVD (Banks et al. 2019).
The data visualisation shows the proportion of people smoking, by sex and smoking status between 2001 and 2019. Daily smokers fell from 19.4% in 2001 to 11.0% in 2019.
After adjusting for different population age structures:
AIHW 2019. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Cat. no. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2020. Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia. Cat. no. PHE 221. Canberra AIHW.
AIHW & NIAA (National Indigenous Australians Agency) 2020. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2020 web report. Measure 2.15 Tobacco use. Canberra: AIHW.
Banks E, Joshy G, Korda RJ, Stavreski B, Soga K, Egger S, Day C et al. 2019. Tobacco smoking and risk of 36 cardiovascular disease subtypes: fatal and non-fatal outcomes in a large prospective Australian study. BMC Medicine 17(1):128. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1351-4.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) 2019. Health at a glance 2019: OECD indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing.
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