Men and Heart Disease


Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is all heart, stroke and blood vessel related diseases which equated for 45,392 deaths in Australia in 2015.[1] Cardiovascular disease affects one in six Australians and kills one person every 12 minutes.[2] The main types of CVD in Australia are coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and heart failure.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease (also referred to as ischaemic heart disease) is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and is killing more Australian men than any other disease.

CHD Statistics: [3]

  • Single leading cause of death in Australia.
  • On average, one Australian dies as a result of Coronary Heart Disease every 27 minutes.
  • Coronary Heart Disease accounts for 14% of all male deaths each year.
  • At age 40 years, the lifetime risk of coronary heart disease is one in two for men.
  • Only 8% of men and boys consume enough fruit and vegetables to meet NHMRC guidelines
  • 53% of men are either sedentary or engaged in low levels of physical activity
  • 33% of men aged between 30 and 65 years are diagnosed with high cholesterol
  • 36% of men aged between 30 and 65 years are diagnosed with high blood pressure

Main Risk Factors?

Modifiable risk factors include behavioural factors such as tobacco smoking, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption. Biomedical factors also play a major role, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and overweight and obesity. [4]

Being such a serious disease, you would assume that there are significant warning signs, however, you may be developing CHD without knowing it as you continue about your daily life. Knowing the early signs of heart disease, and risk factors, is key. Prevention is always better than cure.

Symptoms in men include:

  • central chest discomfort or pain which may spread to the neck, shoulder or jaw
  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • dizziness
  • an irregular heartbeat.

The first sign of CHD is often a heart attack or other serious event; knowing about the above signs may help you recognise problems before they reach that stage and we encourage anyone suffering from these symptoms to make a date with your GP; it might just save your life.

Minimalise the Risk:

Taking ownership of your health and making a few lifestyle changes may save you from becoming another cardiovascular disease statistic.

  • Eat smaller, healthier meals each day that include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish at least twice a week.
  • Reduce red meat and processed meat and salt intake
  • Control your weight and learn to manage your stress.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than two standard drinks per day
  • do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week
  • Quit smoking

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a guideline only. The sources used are believed to be reliable and in no way replace consultation with a Health Professional.

[1] Heart Foundation.

[2] Ibid

[3] Australian Heart Disease Statistics 2015.

[4] Australian Government Department of Health 2016.