Are you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke?
Did you know that every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies of a heart attack? Many of these men and women are our workmates – 1 in 3 are under the age of 70 years – working hard to make a living, looking after their families and contributing to our community.
What causes heart attacks and strokes?
Over time fatty deposits can build up in the walls of your arteries, causing them to narrow. A blood clot may form on top of this narrowing causing the artery to block off, stopping blood flow to the heart muscle or part of the brain this is called a “heart attack” or “stroke”.
Certain risk factors increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. These include:
Risk factors that you can change
• what we eat
• physical inactivity
• being over weight
• high blood pressure
• high blood cholesterol
• high blood glucose
Risk factors that you can not change
• having a family history of heart attack or stoke
The more risk factors you have the more likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke.
Many heart attacks and strokes are preventable. By knowing your personal risk of developing a heart attack or stroke you can make important changes to improve you health and lower your risk.
The Ministry of Health currently recommends that all men over the age of 45 years and women over 55 years have a risk assessment. If you have a risk factor they recommend as a man you should start risk assessments at 35 years of age or 45 years of age if you are a woman. Maori, Pacific Island people and people from the Indian sub continent are also advised to start their risk assessments 10 years earlier.
Are you in one of these groups?
The Medical Centre at Apollo has introduced a new programme to help assess and reduce your risk right here in Albany. The new Healthy Heart Clinics are run by specially trained practice nurses who will look at your age, gender, ethnicity, weight, family history, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, diabetic and smoking status. Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years is estimated using the EDGE risk assessment tool. Their staff will help you set goals and make changes in your life that will improve your health. These changes could include lifestyle changes and or medication.
The Apollo Health and Wellness Centre has a range of health professionals who have been trained to support you live a long and healthy life. The team includes dietitians, exercise specialists, psychotherapists, laboratory staff, massage therapists, complimentary care providers, pharmacists and cardiologists.
We are here to meet your needs. If you have a general practitioner who is not based at Apollo we can send the results of your risk assessment to him/her for follow up. We can provide Healthy Heart Clinics for your staff. Making the right choices now will make a difference in the near future.
If you want to know more please contact , medical centre @ Apollo, ph 477 3700 or email us by clicking here!