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Heart Health

Heart Health - Cardiovascular disease is the largest killer of Australians and New Zealanders - it accounts for one in two deaths - yet it is one of the most preventable diseases. Coronary heart disease is the single most important cause of death in Australia and New Zealand, followed by stroke. High risk groups include indigenous people, those on lower incomes and those with a lower level of education. Females have lower death rates than males, and there has been a rapid decline in death rates since 1960s.

The two main processes that effect heart disease are cholesterol and blood pressure. Your blood pressure is a measurement of the force that your blood exerts on the walls of your blood vessels. Hypertension relates to high blood pressure and is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm , and is a leading cause of kidney failure. A build up of fatty deposits of cholesterol in the blood vessels can reduce or even totally block blood flow to the heart, resulting in a heart attack. The pain associated with shortage of oxygen within the heart muscle is called angina (pectoris) - it is a warning that coronary artery disease is present and usually occurs in middle age men, and both sexes in older age.

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