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Health risk factors


Abnormal levels of cholesterol can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels and contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease (AIHW 2020d).

In 2018–19, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 18 and over:

  • 5% (36,600) had high cholesterol as a current, long-term condition.
  • 5% (18,000) of males and 5% (18,700) of females had high cholesterol as a current, long-term condition (Figure HR 15a).
  • Those aged 55 and over (23% or 22,000) were more likely to have high cholesterol as a current, long-term condition than younger people (Figure HR 15b).

In 2012–13, about 1 in 10 (9%) Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over with measured high total cholesterol levels reported that they had high cholesterol as a long-term condition. This suggests that the majority of Indigenous people with high total cholesterol levels were either not aware of this condition or did not report it for reasons such as not considering it a long-term or current problem (ABS 2014).