How Healthy is your Heart?

Heart health picture

Heart Disease is still the biggest killer of Australians. In 2013, 19,766 Australians lost their lives to the disease. On average, one Australian dies as a result of Heart Disease every 27 minutes.[1]

What is Heart Disease?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your heart muscle) become clogged with fatty material called plaque or atheroma.[2] How can I avoid Heart Disease?

Heart Disease is mostly preventable.  According to the Heart Foundation[3], risk factors for Heart Disease include:

  • Smoking

  • High cholesterol

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Being inactive

  • Being overweight

  • Unhealthy diet

  • Depression, social isolation and lack of quality support


You can get a more accurate Heart Health check from your GP. If you are worried about your heart health, contact your GP soon.


Signs you are at risk of heart disease

The most common symptom is chest pain; but it can also be felt in the arm, throat, jaw or back.  People who’ve experienced it describe it as discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or a painful feeling[4].

Other symptoms include:

  • Being short of breath

  • Irregular or fast heart beat

  • Weakness or dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Sweating


If you think you are experiencing a heat attack call 000 immediately. Don’t delay. Immediate treatment is very important to minimise the damage a heart attack can cause to your heart.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Heart Disease there is a lot you can do to manage things that might cause another Heart Attack.  For example exercise, healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight help to lower your risk of Heart Disease.

According to the Heart Foundation, regular physical activity reduces your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Quitting smoking decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke almost immediately.

Better managing your cholesterol and blood pressure will also contribute positively to your heart health. There are some great resources available from the Heart Foundation Australia.

It can be difficult to change your lifestyle habits.  Your EAP can help you stick to your healthy choices.  Call to make an appointment on 1800 629 277.



[1]Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death 2013 (3303.0). March 2015


[3]Are you at risk of heart disease? | Heart Foundation

[4]Heart Disease Symptoms & Signs of Other Heart Problems (


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