The heart health facts you need to know

You’re bound to see love hearts everywhere today with the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day, upon us – so what better an opportunity to talk about heart health?

With heart disease one of Australia’s largest health problems, here’s what you need to know to make sure your heart gets the love it needs.

The facts

According to the Heart Foundation, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), heart disease and heart attack are three major causes of death in Australia.

Cardiovascular disease:

  • Kills 1 Australian every 12 minutes
  • Affects 1 in 6 Australians (or 4.2 million people)
  • Claimed the lives of 43,477 Australians in 2017
  • Was the main cause for more than 575,800 hospitalisations in 2016/17.

Heart disease:

  • Is the single leading cause of death in Australia
  • Claimed the lives of 18,590 Australians in 2017
  • 51 Australians died every day from heart disease in 2017.

Heart attack:

  • Approximately 400,000 Australians have had a heart attack
  • 57,000 Australians suffer a heart attack each year
  • An average of 21 Australians died from a heart attack each day in 2017.

How you can help improve your heart health

The first step to improving your heart health comes from making healthier lifestyle choices.

According to the Heart Foundation, smoking is the single largest cause of ill health in Australia. As many as 1 in 7 Australians aged 15 years or older admitted to smoking daily in 2014/15.

Another risk factor to heart health is living an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle. Statistics showed in 2014/15 almost every 2 in 3 Australian adults aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese.

So, to improve your overall heart health, try quitting smoking and limiting consumption of alcohol and unhealthy food. Remember to also exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet.

It’s also important to have regular check ups for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Figures show in 2014/15, 6 million Australian adults had high blood pressure and in 2011/12, 5.6 million Australian adults had high cholesterol.

If you’re looking for further information on how to improve your heart health, or are concerned about your risk of heart diseases, consult with your GP. Perhaps it’s time you showed your heart a little love this Valentine’s Day.