I am
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems.

Key takeaways

  • Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart.   
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, causing 1 in 10 deaths. 
  • Healthy living can reduce the risk of heart disease.  
  • To know your risk of heart disease, it's important to get a regular health check with your doctor or health service.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the name for a range of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels. It includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, valve disease, arrhythmias and blood vessel diseases.  

  • A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery blocks or narrows because of a build-up of fatty plaque.  
  • Heart failure: is a long-term condition where your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood to the rest of your body the way it should.  
  • Valve disease: if you have heart valve disease it means your heart’s valves don’t open or close properly.   
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD): if you have had acute rheumatic fever (ARF), this can cause swelling and damage to the valves of your heart leading to RHD.  
  • Arrythmias:is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm. 

The good news is some cases of heart disease can be prevented. Things like not smoking, making healthy food choices and moving more can reduce risk.

Learn more about heart disease, click here.   

Learn how the heart works  

To learn more about how the heart works, click here.

You might also be interested in

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia, but the burden of disease disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Projects aimed at improving the heart health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your cholesterol and triglyceride levels....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

Resources for providing best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Cardiac rehabilitation was a turning point for Kylie and essential to her heart failure recovery....

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Bypass Surgery

Coronary bypass surgery is a common procedure that can dramatically improve the health of your heart. ...

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

2022 PhD Scholarship

2022 PhD Scholarship

Mexican spice blend

Mexican spice blend

Mexican spice blend

5 minutes

Upcoming Webinar: Pressure Wise

Upcoming Webinar: Pressure Wise

Upcoming Webinar: Pressure Wise

Learn more about blood pressure and how you can improve your heart health. Register now....

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

Find out what a healthy body weight is and the steps you can take to achieve it. ...

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Information about commonly prescribed heart medicines. ...

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for healthcare professionals....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Check back in for the latest updates on Supporting Young Heart events...

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

Learning to listen to your heart

Learning to listen to your heart

Learning to listen to your heart

Guest blog by Heart Foundation of Australia Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John G Kelly AM...

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Give yourself a chance to win up to $25,000* while helping the Heart Foundation to raise essential funds for heart research....

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Postdoctoral Fellowship aims to identify the best and brightest (recent) PhD graduates, give them a boost to their research career and enhance their ability to attract and secure future funding....

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Having a mental health condition can have a negative impact on your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease....

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Asian (Chilli, soy and sesame) dressing

Asian (Chilli, soy and sesame) dressing

Asian (Chilli, soy and sesame) dressing

10 minutes
Serves 12 (1 tablespoon)

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease means that your heart valve or valves don't open or close properly....

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts provide a visual tool to calculate CVD risk for use in practice in Australia....

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems. ...