Never miss a beat – it could save your life!

Talk to your doctor today about your risk of heart disease and your eligibility for a Heart Health Check…

An Australian experiences a heart attack or stroke every 4 minutes!

Just think of cricketing legend Shane Warne, whose life was tragically cut short in his early 50s by a fatal heart attack. American actress and comedian Rosie O’Donnell suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2012, singer Tony Braxton fainted during a Broadway performance due to what was found to be a heart condition, and singer Miley Cyrus, who suffers from tachycardia (causing her heart to beat at a much higher rate than normal), says “there is never a time onstage when I’m not thinking about my heart.” Their stories and others are here.

Over 2.5 million Australians are officially classified as having a high risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next five years and more than half of these people will never have had a previous heart issue. Heart disease is our number one cause of death for both men and women, accounting for more than a quarter of all deaths across the country and over 1,600 hospitalisations every single day!

These are very scary statistics – yet heart disease (including heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease) is largely preventable.

A great place to start with the health of your own heart is understanding your risk of developing heart disease and keeping up-to-date with regular check-ups. Given its importance, heart health should be a key part of the routine care provided by your doctor.

Ochre Health and the Heart Foundation recommend talking to your doctor about your risk of heart disease and also your eligibility for a HeartHealth Check. This is a 20-30 minute consultation with your doctor to assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years. It is subsidised by Medicare for everybody aged 45 and over, for people living with diabetes aged 35 and over, and for First Nations people aged 30 and over.

The focus of a Heart Health Check is to develop a comprehensive cardiovascular disease risk assessment and also a plan for your ongoing hearthealth management. During the consultation, your doctor will:

  • Collect information to identify your risk factors (such as your diabetes status, alcohol intake, smoking status, cholesterol status and family history)
  • Conduct a physical examination, including measuring you blood pressure
  • Take actions to address any modifiable risk factors, potentially including prescribing medications to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Develop a plan with you for the ongoing assessment and management of your risk of heart disease
  • Give you preventative health care advice and information, including ideas on how you could change lifestyle factors like exercise and diet

Before you see your doctor, you can also do your own three minute self-assessment of the health of your heart to get an idea of your risk of a heartattack or stroke by using the Heart Foundation’s Heart Age Calculator.

If your result shows your heart is aging faster than you are, we recommend booking an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible!

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