HEART disease remains the biggest killer in Bathurst with the latest figures showing it's responsible for one-in-10 deaths across the region.
And the rates of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, or lung disease), stroke and diabetes are all running higher in Bathurst than the national average.
To compare causes of death by local government area and across the nation, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare had the grim task of counting 790,538 deaths from 2014-18.
The data shows that over the five-year period, around 10 per cent of all deaths in the Central West could be traced back to heart disease.
In the Bathurst local government area, 10.6 per cent of all deaths were from heart disease, compared to a national average of 12.1 per cent, while in Orange the figure was 12.2 per cent.
Heart disease accounted for 10.5 per cent of deaths in the Dubbo LGA, 10.3 in Mid-Western and 9.4 in Lithgow.
Rounding out the rest of the top five causes of death across all Central West LGAs were stroke, lung disease, lung cancer and dementia (including Alzheimer's disease).
In Bathurst, cerebrovascular disease (strokes) accounted for 7.9 per cent of deaths, above the national average of 6.6 per cent, while 5.6 per cent of people died from lung disease (national average 4.6 per cent) and 4.0 per cent died from diabetes (national average 3.0 per cent).
Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, accounted for an average of 6.5 per cent of deaths across the Central West (a total of 483 people across the region) and 369 people died of lung cancer (an average of 5.0 per cent for Central West LGAs).
Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, accounted for an average of 6.5 per cent of deaths across the Central West and 369 people died of lung cancer.Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
How's your heart?
IT'S never too early or late to manage your risk of heart disease and improve your heart health, a Western NSW Local Health District spokeswoman said.
"Heart disease is the biggest killer in Australia and can be brought on by poor lifestyle choices such as: smoking; being above a healthy weight and/or making too many unhealthy food and drink choices; risky alcohol consumption; and not getting enough exercise," she said.
"To reduce your risk of heart disease, it is recommended to quit smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, increase exercise and improve your diet."
The spokeswoman urged people to include plenty of healthy foods and limit unhealthy options that are high in saturated fat, sugars and salt.
"Diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, particularly if these medical problems are not treated," she said.
"Some risk factors for heart disease cannot be controlled, these include: age, gender, ethnicity and family history.
"If you are worried about your heart health, book in to your local health professional to discuss your concerns and get a check-up."
More information about heart health and healthy heart lifestyle resources can be found at the Heart Foundation.