Tumut has lower rates of heart attack than the national average, new data from the Heart Foundation shows.
That makes us unique in the Riverina, which has an overall higher rate than the national average.
In this (former) shire, 72.4 people out of every 100,000 will pass away due to heart attack in a given year, compared to 84.8 in the Riverina.
Adjusted for population, that’s eight people a year out of 11,316.
Compared to our neighbours, that’s worse than the Yass Valley at 61.6, Snowy River at 60.6, and Cooma-Monaro at 71.9. However, it’s better than Wagga at 90.4, and much better than some worryingly high towns nearby: Cootamundra at 145.8, the 9th worst out of 393 local government areas in Australia, Young and Harden at 106.1, and Junee at 109.5.
The male mortality rate from heart attacks is more than double the female, with 120 Riverina men out of 100,000 dying of coronary heart disease each year, compared to 54.5 women.
In fact, for men, the Riverina is the eighth worst region for heart attacks in Australia out of 92. For women it is the 50th.
Overall, the Riverina is ranked 24th out of 92 regions in Australia, with one equalling worst.
The healthiest hearts are located in Woden, ACT, and the least healthy are in Outback Queensland.
Heart disease deaths are 50 per cent higher in disadvantaged, rural, and remote areas. These areas also have higher rates of smoking and obesity – two major risk factors for heart disease.
Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, said the latest research shows the residential location of a person has a big impact on their health.
NSW was particularly divided, with high numbers of local government areas in both the best and worst ends of the spectrum. For example, 52.5 people out of 100,000 will die from a heart condition in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire each year, compared to 168 in Bourke.
This striking division occurred in rates of heart-related hospital admissions, mortality, obesity, and smoking.
Researchers found that, if every community had the same admission rate as the nation’s most advantaged areas, heart disease and heart failure admissions as a whole would fall by an estimated 28 per cent.
For Australians living in rural and remote areas, deaths from heart disease are 60 per cent higher than for people in metropolitan areas.
For Indigenous Australians, who are over-represented in rural and remote areas, deaths are 70 per cent higher than in non-Indigenous Australians.