Posted May 10th, 2024

This Heart Week, from 6-12 May, the Heart Foundation is encouraging Myall Lakes residents to focus on their heart health. This is a pivotal step toward combating cardiovascular disease, which claims the lives of over 40,000 Australians annually.

With concerning data revealing that nearly half of at-risk Australians are unaware of their family history of heart disease – a significant risk factor – there has never been a more crucial time to act.

Member for Myall Lakes, Tanya Thompson stresses the importance of awareness and proactive health management: “Understanding your risk of developing heart disease is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your heart.

“I encourage everyone to take advantage of the Medicare-subsidised Heart Health Checks available through your GP to find out your risk of heart disease and take critical steps to manage this risk,” Mrs Thompson said.

Natalie Raffoul, Senior Healthcare Programs Manager with the Heart Foundation, highlighted the success of Heart Health Checks: “Since its inclusion in Medicare, almost 630,000 Australians have benefited from a Heart Health Check. With clinical tools like the Aus CVD Risk calculator, used over 745,000 times, GPs are well-equipped to guide us towards healthier futures.”

“The best way to understand how your family history may impact your risk of developing heart disease is to interpret it in the context of your overall risk, something your GP will assess as part of a 20-minute Heart Health Check,” Ms Raffoul said.

During Heart Week, the Heart Foundation urges all Australians to:

• See your GP for a Heart Health Check: Book a 20-minute Medicare subsidised check to understand how factors like family history might affect your risk of heart disease and find out the steps you can take to lower your risk.

• Spread the word: Encourage your family and friends to think about their heart health this week. Visit the Heart Week website to find out more about your heart health and what you can do to protect it.

• Join a Heart Foundation Walking Program: Engage in regular physical activity by finding a walking group near you or start a personal walking plan through the Heart Foundation website.

• Explore Healthy Eating: Visit the Heart Foundation’s website for heart-healthy

meal options that can aid in maintaining a balanced diet.

“Heart Week is not just about individual actions but also about community awareness and engagement,” added Mrs Thompson. “Together, we can take significant strides towards a heart-healthier community.”

For more information on participating in Heart Week and making lasting changes for your heart health, visit www.heartfoundation.org.au/heart-week.


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