Worrying new figures show heart health is a growing issue

New figures from the Heart Foundation paint a grim picture for heart health across the Far West and Central West regions. Image: Shutterstock.
New figures from the Heart Foundation paint a grim picture for heart health across the Far West and Central West regions. Image: Shutterstock.

THE Far West and Orana region have been highlighted as a high risk area for heart disease and obesity in new report from the Heart Foundation.

Given coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, it is concerning that both the Far West and Orana region along with the Central West, feature heavily in the report.

The figures released on Tuesday reveal the NSW regions with the highest and lowest rates of hospitalisations from heart attack, along with other heart and health data.

The Far West and Orana region was ranked sixth out of the 28 NSW regions with heart attack hospital admissions approximately 23 per cent above the state average.

The damning report also found that the Far West and Orana region had NSW's highest prevalence of smoking, the highest prevalence of obesity and the states second-highest rate of death from coronary heart disease with a rate of 84.7 out of every 100,000 people, approximately 31 per cent above the state average.

Heart Foundations NSW/ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn, said more needs to be done to address the underlying causes of heart disease in rural and regional NSW. Image: Heart Foundation.

Heart Foundations NSW/ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn, said more needs to be done to address the underlying causes of heart disease in rural and regional NSW. Image: Heart Foundation.

The Central West fared slightly better in the report, however the region still ranked fourth in the state for obesity levels with almost 42 percent of adults classed as obese, and had the ninth highest rate of death from coronary heart disease with a rate of 70.5 out of every 100,000 people.

Heart Foundation's NSW/ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn, said the report revealed a worrying issue for people living in rural and regional areas.

"These figures reveal an alarming inequality between the NSW residents who are most and least at risk of heart disease, as well as those who are most and least likely to be hospitalised or die from the condition, including from a heart attack," she said.

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"If you live in the state's remote south, north or west, or in a disadvantaged part of Sydney, you have a much higher chance of heart disease, which remains the single leading cause of death in NSW.

"This is unacceptable, and the Heart Foundation will continue its work to reduce heart disease.

"We also urge governments at all levels to take action to curb the toll, especially in regional, rural and disadvantaged areas, where our Heart Maps show the burden of heart disease is at its highest."

Both the Central West, and Far West and Orana, were also in the top ten for the prevalence physical inactivity and high blood pressure, with both labelled as key risk factors of heart disease which represents one in five of all deaths in Australia.

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This story New heart health figures a major concern for regional NSW first appeared on Western Advocate.