South west's most deadly diseases revealed in new report

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the south west, a new report has revealed.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the south west, a new report has revealed.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the south-west, a new report has revealed. 

According to figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, heart disease accounted for more than 15 per cent of deaths in the Corangamite Shire Local Government Area (LGA) in the last five years, which is 25 per cent higher than the national average. 

The rate of coronary related deaths in the Southern Grampians LGA (13.4 per cent) and Glenelg LGA (14.6 per cent) was also higher than the national rate. 

Warrnambool and Moyne were below the national average with about 12 per cent of deaths relating to heart disease between 2012 and 2016.

Strokes, dementia, lung cancer and pulmonary diseases accounted for the rest of the five most deadly diseases in all five local government areas, except for Glenelg which rated lung cancer as the sixth most deadly disease. 

Diabetes was the third highest killer in Glenelg, which is 134 per cent higher than the national average. 

Accidental falls contributed to more deaths than suicide across the region while the rate of dementia-related deaths was 31 per cent below the national average in Warrnambool.

Land transport accidents didn’t make the list of top 20 related deaths in Corangamite, Warrnambool and Southern Grampians, but it was the 12th highest killer in Moyne over five years.

The top five causes of death in the south-west were largely the same as the top five throughout Australia. 

Heart attacks were by far the biggest cause of death Australia wide, and were the number one killer in almost every local government area in the country.

The report also revealed some state-by-state variations when it came to the top causes of death.

Victorians were considerably more likely to die of accidental falls or the flu than people in other states or territories.

Falls were the 10th most common cause of death in Victoria but did not figure in the top 20 causes of death in New South Wales.

The report shows the median age of Australians who died between 2012 and 2016 was 78 for men and 84 for women.

Heart disease was the biggest killer for those aged between 45 and 64 and those over 75. Heart attacks were a distinct second among those aged between 65 and 74, as that is the age people were most likely to succumb to lung cancer.

Among those aged between 15 and 44, suicide was the most common cause of death.

If you are troubled by this report, you should call Lifeline on 131 114 or visit the website.