Heart to Heart (Cardiovascular Disease)

Avoid our biggest killer ” keep your heart healthy.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia ” it kills one Australian every 10 minutes. According to the Heart Foundation, Indigenous Australians are up to two and a half times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than the rest of the population.

What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term used for heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases. It accounted for 36 per cent of all deaths in Australia in 2004, and affects more than 3.5 million Australians ” around two out of every three families.

Sadly, many deaths caused by CVD are largely preventable.

What causes cardiovascular disease?
Risk factors that increase your chances of CVD include:

  • smoking
  • having high blood cholesterol
  • physical inactivity (not getting enough exercise)
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight
  • depression, social isolation and lack of social support.

Being male and having a family history of early death from heart disease are also risk factors for developing heart disease.

What can I do to avoid it?
To avoid CVD you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

  • Eating well

Healthy eating is all about enjoying a variety of foods from the different food groups. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and wholegrains, moderate amounts of lean meat, chicken and fish and moderate amounts of fat.

  • Keeping physically active

The Heart Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on all or most days of the week.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

You can do this by eating well and keeping physically active.

  • Ditching the durries

Cigarette smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. It’s a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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