Heart Health Check

Heart Health Check in the Shire

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a term used to explain a range of different conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. Most common types of cardiovascular disease in Australia are stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure according to Australian Government data. This research also reveals that Australian men are much more likely to die from CVD than women across nearly all age groups.

In saying this, you can substantially reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by being proactive and having a routine heart health check. These check-ups typically involve questions about your family history and current lifestyle, as well as a blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar and blood cholesterol tests.

It is recommended for you to go in for a test biennially (every 2 years) if you are aged 45 years or over, 30 years or above for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, or when you hit 35 if you already have risk factors. Speak to your doctor about having a Heart Health Check in our modern Shire Doctors clinic today.

Main Risk Factors Contributing to Cardiovascular Disease

There are 3 main risk factors that cannot be modified, and these are: age, male gender, and heredity (including race). If you fall under multiple risk factors, then your chance of developing some type of cardiovascular disease increases.

As these risk factors are a constant, it’s even more essential that you manage your risk factors that can be changed, such factors include:

TobaccoSmokers have a much higher risk of developing CVD, with smoking posing as a strong risk factor for sudden cardiac death in patients already with CVD. Cigarette smoking also interacts with other risk factors to significantly increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
High Blood Cholesterol

An individual’s cholesterol level is influenced by their age, gender, heredity, and dietary intake.

Did you know that as your cholesterol rises, so does your risk of heart disease? When other risk factors (such as high blood pressure and smoking) are also present, this risk increases all the more.

High Blood PressureHigh blood pressure causes the heart to work harder, leading to the heart muscle thickening and becoming stiffer. The stiffening of the heart muscle is abnormal and causes the heart to function irregularly, increasing your possibility of stroke, heart attack, kidney, or heart failure.
Physical InactivityLeading a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor that can be controlled for CVD. Regular, moderate physical activity can help control blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Speak to your trusted GP for professional advice.
Diabetes

Diabetes dramatically raises the risk of one developing cardiovascular disease. Even when glucose levels are well-managed, diabetes increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. AIHW reports that around 68% of Australians with diabetes over 65 years of age die as a result of some type of heart disease.

If you have diabetes, see your doctor about how best to manage the condition, particularly in controlling other risk factors where possible. To help manage blood sugar, diabetic people who are obese or overweight need to make lifestyle changes, such as eating better or partaking in regular physical activity.

Obesity

Patients who have excess body fat are more prone to developing heart disease, albeit those same people have no other risk factors.

Overweight and obese Australians with common risk factors for CVD can make lifestyle changes to control their weight, this can also help to reduce other risk factors such as:

  • Triglycerides
  • Blood Glucose
  • HbA1c
  • The risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

What Does a Heart Health Check Involve?

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), an estimated 1.2 million Australian adults have one or more conditions linked to a heart or cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Checks have been backed by Medicare since April in 2019 and is a simple, 20-minute cardiovascular disease risk assessment. A Heart Health Check in the Shire comprises of:

  • Collecting information on a patient’s cardiovascular disease risk factors including:
    • Diabetes/Cholesterol status
    • Alcohol intake
    • Smoking status
    • Family history
  • A quick physical examination, which includes the recording of a blood pressure reading.
  • Introducing interventions and referrals to address adjustable risk factors.
    • For example, recommending blood pressure lowering medication for high-risk patients where appropriate.
  • Setting a management plan for ongoing assessment and management of CVD risk.
  • Offering the patient preventative health care advice and information, such as how to change lifestyle risk factors relating to CVD.

Get Your Heart Health Check in the Shire Today

It is estimated a heart health check can help prevent approximately 42 heart events every day for the next 5 years, including heart attacks, strokes, and deaths. It is very important to recognise that Heart Health checks should be a regular part of your health check-up routine if you are 45 years or over, or even earlier if you present risk factors.

At Shire Doctors and Dentists, we are committed to providing high quality patient care, excellence, and safety, in addition to good value treatment and management.

Visit your GP and book your all-important Heart Health Check at Shire Doctors and Dentists today.