Cardiovascular Disease: Australia’s major killer and what you need to know about it

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The heart is one of the most important organs within the body. This is because the heart is the organ within your body which pumps the blood for the rest of your body to function correctly. The centrality of the heart to our ability to function means that it is important that we are aware of the function of the heart and its dangers. On average, 1 Australian dies of Cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes which makes it an important issue to discuss.

What is Cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease is the diseases which affect the heart and the blood vessels. The term is used interchangeably with ‘heart disease’, both of which are umbrella terms for a range of issues.

Which diseases fall under the Cardiovascular umbrella?

Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), high blood pressure and strokes.
Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.

What are the risks that can cause Cardiovascular disease?

There is no one cause of heart disease but there are risks which increase your chances of developing heart disease. These risks can be broken down into two categories: risks you can change and risks you can’t change.

-The risks you can’t change are as follows:
• Age: As you get older, your risk of heart disease increases.
• Gender: Men are at higher risk of heart disease. Women’s risk grows and may be equal to men after menopause.
• Ethnic background: People of some origins (e.g. from the Indian sub-continent) have higher risk. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have more risk because of lifestyle factors.
• Family history: If someone in your family has had a heart attack, speak to your doctor or health practitioner about your risk.

-The risks you can change include:
• Smoking: Smoking puts stress on your body as it reduces the amount of oxygen within the blood.
• High Cholesterol: High cholesterol is a main source of build-up and blockage in the arteries.
• High Blood pressure: High blood pressure puts a lot of stress on the walls of your heart because it pumps blood faster than average.
• Diabetes: Having diabetes over time affects the blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
• Being inactive: Exercise is needed to keep your blood pumping and to ward off other diseases
• Being overweight: Your weight puts extra stress on your body which leaves it vulnerable to other diseases
• Unhealthy diet: An unhealthy intake of fats clogs your arteries and wears the heart down over time
• Depression and isolation: Creates a constant stress for the body which wears out your organs

How can you stay healthy?
• Keep your Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Diabetes under control
• Eat Healthy
• Remain active (socially and physically)
• Stop smoking
• See your doctor and your cardiologist for regular check ups

The health of your heart is an important topic for many Australians. It is a central and important topic to ensuring that you stay healthy. Here at A2Z Medical Centre, we have brilliant doctors and a wonderful cardiologist on board to ensure that you get the best treatment possible. All you have to do is call us on 9758 9849 to make an appointment!

Practice Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9am – 6 : 30pm | Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 5pm