The Heart Foundation’s Plea to the Region with the State’s Highest Rate of Death from Heart Disease.
This week marks the Heart Foundation's annual Heart Week and this year’s celebrations come with a strong message for the people of the New England North West.
Our region has the highest rate of death from heart disease in the state, which is extremely worrying considering heart disease is the biggest killer in New South Wales.
According to data available at the Heart Foundation’s Australian Heart Maps, the death rate in this region is 92 out of every 100,000 people, which is well above the state average (67 out of every 100,000 people).
In terms of heart disease risk factors:
• 21% of New England and North West region residents smoke
• 19% have high blood pressure
• 74% are not physically active enough for good health
• 39% are obese
• 32% have high cholesterol
The Heart Foundation is urging New England North West residents to make the most of the new Medicare-funded Heart Health Check, which came into effect at the start of the month.
The check will allow Australians aged 45 years and over, and Indigenous Australians from 30 years, see their GP for a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check to understand their risk of heart attack and stroke in the next five years.
It’s estimated that nationally, the new health check could prevent 76,000 heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease over the next five years, avoiding 42 heart events daily.
As part of a Heart Health Check, your doctor will look at the risk factors that increase your likelihood of heart attack and stroke by reviewing your blood pressure, cholesterol, diet and lifestyle, and other factors such as family history.
Depending on your level of risk, your doctor may prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, being more active and improving your diet.
Heart Week is an opportunity for the Australian public and healthcare professionals to start a conversation about heart health and the steps we can take to reduce our risk of heart disease.
For more information visit heartfoundation.org.au/heartweek or call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12.