New RHD diagnoses among Indigenous Australians

The NT had the highest rate and greatest number of new RHD diagnoses among Indigenous Australians each year, with overall rates around 3 times that in the other jurisdictions.

Table 3: Rate of new RHD diagnoses per 100,000 among Indigenous Australians by jurisdiction, 2013–2017

 

Year

Qld

WA

SA

NT

2013

35.8

46.8

35.9

104.1

2014

37.9

29.9

40.2

128.7

2015

32.7

29.3

34.4

121.3

2016

34.2

48.1

31.3

95.2

2017

30.7

42.1

23.6

138.7

Total rate

34.2

39.3

32.9

117.7

Total number

356

188

67

432

 

Note: Rates are crude rates per 100,000 population

Source: AIHW analysis of National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection

Age and sex of new RHD diagnoses

The rate of new RHD for Indigenous females was around two times the rate for Indigenous males. Females had higher rates compared to males in all age groups apart from those aged 0–4.

Nearly 60% of new RHD cases were less than 25 years old at diagnosis. There were 15 children aged less than 5 diagnosed with RHD in the five year period.

Table 4: Number and rate per 100,000 of new RHD diagnoses among Indigenous Australians by sex and age, 2013–2017

Age group (years)

Male number

Male rate

Female number

Female rate

Total number

Total rate

0–4

8

6.4

7

5.9

15

6.1

5–14

164

69.7

195

85.5

359

77.5

15–24

71

33.2

167

81.8

238

56.9

25–44

79

28.5

218

77.4

297

53.2

45 +

36

18.8

98

45.9

134

33.1

Total

358

34.3

685

65.4

1,043

49.9

Note: Rates are crude rates per 100,000 population

Source: AIHW analysis of National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection

State and territory region of management of new RHD diagnoses

For each person diagnosed with RHD reported to a register, the region where the patient receives the majority of the management of their RHD is recorded. It is possible that the place of management is not the same as place of diagnosis.

For new RHD diagnoses in Indigenous Australians between 2013 and 2017, the region with the highest rate was East Arnhem in the NT (179 per 100,000, 104 diagnoses), followed by Northwest Qld (145 per 100,000, 64 diagnoses). The rates in Urban Alice Springs (46 diagnoses), Rural Darwin (87 diagnoses) and Katherine (73 diagnoses) in the NT were all between 130 and 140 cases per 100,000 population.

Figure 1: Rate of new RHD cases among Indigenous Australians per 100,000 by region of management, as at 31 Dec 2017

Figure 1: The map of Australia shows the distribution of RHD diagnoses among Indigenous Australians in Qld, WA, SA and NT. The areas with the greatest rates are North West Qld and East Arnhem in NT. Metropolitan areas in Qld, WA and SA have the lowest rates. More information is located in the data tables, RHD Table 5.

Notes:

  1. There are 33 regions across the 4 states and territories. Each state and territory define regions uniquely, based on their own specific health services boundaries.  

  2. Rates are crude rates per 100,000 population

  3. No data are available for jurisdictions not included in the National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection.

  4. For Queensland regions, the 2016 population estimates were used to calculate rates for 2016 and 2017.

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