General heart statistics for New Zealand


General Heart Statistics in New Zealand 

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart, stroke and blood vessel disease) is still the leading cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for 30% of deaths annually [1]
  • Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease [1]
  • Many of these deaths are premature and preventable 
  • Almost one in twenty adults have been diagnosed with heart disease. That's 169,000 New Zealand adults [2] 
  • It is estimated that 5,000 people die prematurely from smoking each year - this equates to around 12 people a day dying from smoking. [3]

How much you move, what you eat and whether you smoke are important factors that influence your risk of heart disease. Current figures show that [2]:

  • One in six New Zealanders older than 15 smoke
  • Almost half of adults are not physically active for more than 30 minutes per day
  • One in three adults do not eat three or more servings of vegetables per day
  • Almost one in two adults do not eat two or more servings of fruit per day
  • More than one million adults are now obese in New Zealand.


Women's Heart Disease

Globally, cardiovascular disease, often thought to be a 'male' problem, is the number one killer of women. [4]

  • Nearly two-thirds of the deaths from heart attacks in women occur among those who have no history of chest pain [5]
  • Women who smoke cigarettes are three times as likely to have a heart attack as women who don’t smoke. [5]

In 2013, 2920 women died of heart disease in New Zealand. That’s 8 women a day – or about 55 each week. [1]



[1]  Ministry of Health (2015) Mortality and Demographic data 2013 (provisional). Wellington: Ministry of Health
[2]  Ministry of Health (2015) NZ Health Survey: Annual update of key results 2014-2015. Wellington: Ministry of Health
[3]  Ministry of Health (2009) Implementing the ABC approch for Smoking Cessation. Framework and Work Programme. Wellington: Ministry of Health
[4]  World Health Organisation (2013) Women’s health fact sheet N334: World Health Organisation

[5]  Oestreicher Stock, E., Redberg, R. (2012) Cardiovascular disease in Women. Curr Probl Cardiol,37(11), 45-526


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