What is a heart health check?
To assess how likely, you are to have a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, your doctor will do what is called a Heart Health Check. It is all about looking at the “big picture” for your heart health not just one factor alone.
You may Discuss:
- What you eat
- Your lifestyle & exercise
- Your family health history
- Your overall health (including kidney disease & diabetes)
Your Doctor will check your:
- Blood Pressure
Your Doctor will help you to make changes to:
- Balance your diet
- Your physical activity and lifestyle
- Your wellbeing
Having a heart health check can be a good way to take positive steps to protect and improve your health now and for the future
Why is a Heart Health check important?
Every 12 minutes an Australian dies from heart, stroke or blood vessel disease. Most Heart attacks and strokes are preventable.
Seven in ten adult Australians have at least one risk factor for heart, stroke or blood disease. You may not be aware that you have risk factors as often there are no symptoms.
What happens after a heart health check?
Once your doctor has your results, ask them for your level of risk.
If your level of risk is over 15% you have at least a 1 in 7 chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years if left unmanaged
If your level of risk is between 10-15% you have at least a 1 in 10 chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years if left unmanaged
If your level of risk is under 10% you have a less than 1 in 10 chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years if left unmanaged.
Depending on your level of risk, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol, or blood pressure, or both.
You will also need to have your level of risk monitored. Discuss with your doctor how often this needs to be done.
What can you do now to improve your heart health?
See your doctor to have a hearth health check. Having a healthy lifestyle is important no matter what. You can make positive changes by improving your diet, being more active, quitting smoking and reducing your diet, being active, quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake to improve your heart health.
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains
- Reduced fat Dairy such as unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese
- Variety of healthy protein sources including fish and seafood, lean meat and poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt
Maintain a healthy weight
It is important to maintain a healthy body weight because it can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and lower your risk of having a heart problem. If you carry extra weight around your middle (being apple-shaped) you are more at risk than if you are just overweight. The heart Foundation recommends you aim for a waist measurement of less than:
80 cm for Females 94cm for Males
If you need to lose weight, speak with your doctor about how to do it in a healthy way.
Physical activity also helps manage heart health risk factors. Do at least 30-45 mins of moderate (e.g brisk walking) or 15-30 mins of vigorous (e.g. running) physical activity on 5 or more days of the week.
Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking is a risk factor for heart disease. For help to stop contact our surgery and enquire about our quit smoking program.
Drink no more than two standard drinks on any day and no more than four on any one occasion.