Deaths among all Australians with RHD

In 2013–2017, there were 275 deaths reported among people with RHD in the registers. Of these, 221 (80.3%) were in Indigenous Australians. These people could have been diagnosed at any time since RHD Registers have been operational, but had died between 2013 and 2017. This analysis was not restricted by cause of death—people with RHD may have died of any cause. Cause of death is not captured on Registers.

The majority of deaths (67%) occurred in NT, which has the greatest number of RHD diagnoses recorded.

Table 7: Number and rate of deaths among Indigenous Australians with RHD by year of death and state and territory, 2013–2017

Year

Queensland

Western Australia

South Australia

Northern Territory 

2013

n.p.

5

n.p.

40

2014

n.p.

n.p.

5

20

2015

11

n.p.

n.p.

29

2016

7

8

29

2017

11

n.p.

n.p.

30

Total number

37

24

12

148

Total rate per 100,000 population

3.6

0.3

5.9

40.3

Note: Rates are crude rates per 100,000 population.

Source: AIHW analysis of National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection.

Nearly 50% of the Indigenous RHD cases who died in 2013–2017 were 45–64 years old (108 deaths), and just over one-quarter (61 deaths) were in cases 25–44 years old. Thirteen deaths (5.9%) were in young adults aged 15–24 years. The median age of death was 50 years. In line with overall rates of RHD, around two-thirds of deaths (145 deaths) were in female RHD cases.