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General heart statistics for New Zealand


General Heart Statistics

  • 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 coronary heart disease  
  • Many of these deaths are premature and preventable.
  • Obesity is a risk factor for a number of diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and some cancers. [2]
  • One in eighteen adults have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. That's 193,000 adults [2]
  • About one million adults are now obese in New Zealand. [2]
  • One in five New Zealanders older than 15 smoke. [1]
  • It is estimated that 5,000 people in New Zealand die prematurely from smoking each year - this equates to around 12 people a day dying from smoking. [3]


Women's Heart Disease


Worldwide 3.4million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women.

The picture of women’s heart health in New Zealand:

  • 2514 women died of heart disease [1]
  • That’s about 7 a day – 48 a week.
  • Women who smoke risk having a heart attack 19 years earlier than non-smoking women.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the deaths from heart attacks in women occur among those who have no history of chest pain.
  • 42% of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year, compared to 24% of men.
  • Under age 50, women’s heart attacks are twice as likely as men’s to be fatal.



[1] 2010 Ministry of Health Mortality data
[2] Ministry of Health. 2013 NZ HEalth Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
[3] Ministry of Health. 2009. Implementing the ABC approch for Smoking Cessation. Framework and Work Programme. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

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