Are you aged 45 or over and haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease? Do you know your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, then it’s time to book your Heart Health Check!

With Covid dominating the health news for the last 2 years, it’s easy to forget that our number one killer is still heart disease. Heart attacks and stroke kill one Australian every four minutes and it’s estimated that around one in five of us over the age of 45 are at high risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years. Many are unaware they are in this high-risk group.

The good news is that many of these heart attacks and strokes are preventable through identification of risk factors and some simple lifestyle changes. The key is to be aware of what your risk is so you can take these steps. And that’s where the Heart Health Check comes in.

What is a Heart Health Check?
It’s a 20-minute consultation with your GP during which we cover 4 key areas:

  1. We have a chat about your risk factors, asking about things such as your family history, your diet and physical activity levels, whether you smoke or drink alcohol and whether you are maintaining a healthy weight.
  2. We check things like your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  3. We use all this information to come up with your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
  4. Finally, we make a plan with you, tailored to your individual circumstances, to help you lower your risk. This may include support making heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle, referrals to programs or other health professionals such as dieticians and blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medications if you are at higher risk.

Who should have a Heart Health Check?
Everyone aged 45 and over (30 if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) without a history of heart disease is eligible for an annual Heart Health Check. Since April 2019 there has been a Medicare rebate for an annual check, meaning you will get a portion of your consultation fee back.

GPs have always been big fans of preventative medicine: an ounce of prevention is vastly better than a pound of cure to quote an old saying. Here at GP Cremorne one of our central philosophies is to partner with you and provide tailored advice to support you in managing your own health and well-being. It’s never too early or too late to take control of your heart health. Understanding your risk is the vital first step; the Heart Health Check is the ideal tool to achieve this goal.

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