Every 12 minutes an Australian dies from heart, stroke or blood vessel disease. Most heart attacks and strokes are preventable.
If you are 45 years or older (35 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and have not had a heart attack or stroke, then you are eligible for a Heart Health Check under Medicare.
A Heart Health Check is a regular checkup performed by your doctor. A Heart Health Check helps you to understand your risk factors for heart disease and estimate how likely you are to have a heart attack of stroke in the next five years.
The most important part of this checkup is working with your doctor to manage your risk factors to improve your heart health.
Your doctor will start your check by talking with you about your heart disease risk factors. This usually involves having your blood pressure and cholesterol level checked and talking about what you eat, how often you are physically active, whether you smoke, as well as other risk factors for heart disease like your personal and family health history.
Looking after your heart can be simple:
Be smoke free
Manage your blood cholesterol and blood pressure
Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight
Eating well helps with weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Eat less salt, replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats.
We know that there can be a greater risk of heart disease for people who have depression are socially isolated or do not have good social support. Having a good social life with family and friends can help.