Approximately 2.5 million Australians are at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, and over half of these have not had an event previously.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several indirect consequences through disruptions to routine health service delivery. Last year we saw people postponing or forgoing a wide variety of services, ranging from emergency treatment of acute conditions, to routine check-ups like Heart Health Checks.
After a period of lockdown, health, family and economic pressures, it’s time to return our attention to the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.
We are encouraging Australians to get back to looking after their heart health. A great place to start is by understanding the risk of developing heart disease and keeping up with regular check-ups.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for more than one in four deaths in Australia and accounts for over 1,600 hospitalisations each day. Yet atherosclerotic CVD (coronary heart disease including heart attacks, ischaemic strokes and peripheral vascular disease) is largely preventable. Two-thirds of Australian adults are living with at least three CVD risk factors, such as elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
Heart week encourages all Australians to get moving and keep your heart strong, because like any other muscle your heart needs exercise.
Physical activity provides medicine for the mind and body. At least 30 minutes of physical activity every day is recommended as a minimum, building to 60 minutes. Yet, any minute of movement is better than none and you are never too young or old to benefit from being physically active.
Being active for at least 30 minutes every day can:
· reduce the risk of heart disease by 35%
· reduce blood pressure
· help maintain a healthy weight
· reduce blood cholesterol
· prevent and manage diabetes
· prevent or improve symptoms of depression
· boost brain health and the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's.
Grab your friends and get them moving too. Being active with friends is a great way to enjoy movement and keep yourself motivated.