Heart disease in the Māori Community

Māori adults have higher rates of most health conditions - including coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes - and lower access to health care than non-Māori adults. 

Some Sobering Statistics

The Māori population, when compared with European New Zealanders, are:

More than twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease

And 1.5 times as likely to be hospitalised for cardiovascular disease.1

Twice as likely to die from ischaemic heart disease

And 1.3 times as likely to be hospitalised for ischaemic heart disease. The disparity is even greater for females; Māori females are almost twice as likely to be hospitalised for ischaemic heart disease than non-Māori females.1

1.5 times more likely to die from stroke

And 1.5 times more likely to be hospitalised for stroke. The disparity is greater for females; stroke hospitalisations among Māori females is more than twice as high as that among non-Māori females.1

Much of the burden caused by cardiovascular is preventable. Major modifiable risk factors include tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, insufficient physical activity, overweight and obesity, diabetes, poor nutrition, and excessive intake of alcohol. Other risk factors that are beyond our control include age, gender, family history and ethnicity.

Know the risk factors

Obesity rates among Māori children and adults are twice the rate of non-Māori children and adults.

19% of Māori children are obese and 48% of Māori adults are obese.2

Twice as likely to have diabetes

And 1.4 times more likely to have high blood pressure.3

41 per cent of Māori adults are smokers

Māori adults are more than twice as likely to smoke than non-Māori adults. 1

What can I do... to help ensure a healthier future?

1. Adapt your lifestyle.

Consume a low-fat diet high in fruit and vegetables, moderate your alcohol intake and exercise regularly

2. Break the cycle.

Our children adopt healthy eating habits from a young age. Bring your kids up in an environment where you drink water, eat fresh food and play sport regularly.

3. Support medical research.

The Heart Research Institute is an internationally recognised medical research institute performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research. Established more than 25 years ago, today our work is more relevant than ever.

Sources

1 2013/14 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health, Tatau Kahukura: Māori health statistics, Cardiovascular Disease
2 Ministry of Health. 2013. New Zealand Health Survey: Annual update of key findings 2012/13. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
3 2013/14 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health, Tatau Kahukura: Māori health statistics, Diabetes