Ethnicity

Your ethnic background can increase your risk of heart disease. The genetic makeup and environmental influences based on what ethnic group you belong to can predispose its members developing heart disease.

Indigenous Australians are 1.3 times more likely to have heart disease, stroke or blood vessel disease compared to non-indigenous Australians due to lifestyle factors. There is a 17-year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians (11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females), with heart disease being a significant contributor to this.

Recent statistics show that the rate of obesity is generally much higher in Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians, particularly among women.

Evidence suggests that people from South Asian and African Caribbean backgrounds have increased the risk of heart complications compared to other ethnicities due to a higher prevalence of abdominal obesity, abnormal lipid levels, metabolic syndrome and quite often due to cooking habit with high saturated fat.

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