Cardiovascular Disease

Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a major problem. Each year, around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. This equates to one heart attack every 10 minutes.

Knowledge is Power!
What are the Symptoms?
  1. Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  2. Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  3. Chest pain or discomfort
  4. Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  5. Shortness of breath

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 000 immediately.

Knowledge is Power!
What is cardiovascular disease?

It refers to several types of heart conditions but the most common type is coronary heart disease which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Knowledge is Power!
What are the statistics?
  1. Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes
  2. It affects one in six Australians or 3.7 million people
  3. It affects two out of three families
  4. Claimed the lives of 45,600 Australians (31% of all deaths) in 2011-deaths largely preventable
  5. Lower socioeconomic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people & those living in remote areas had the highest rate of death resulting from CVD in Australia
Knowledge is Power!
HELP! How can it be prevented and controlled?

It doesn’t need to be Valentine’s Day to bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to heart health! Small steps every day will get us all on the road to being heart healthy;
Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fibre can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. For more advice contact your local Community Pharmacy about one of our weight loss clinics which can offer support and a weekly ‘weigh in session’.
  3. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is recommended that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Did you know that some of our stores now run a Walking Club? Ask in store to see how you can become involved.
  4. Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. Our stores offer blood pressure monitoring services to our customers. Our pharmacists will take your blood pressure, record it on your personal record and provide you with a print-out to take to your next doctor’s appointment. Each time you come in we can add to your record, giving you a full history of your blood pressure readings.
  5. Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your pharmacist can suggest ways to help you quit.
  6. Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
  7. Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. We can offer a cholesterol screening in our pharmacies. If abnormal cholesterol levels are identified, the pharmacist can advise on preventative measures, effective treatment programs, lifestyle changes, and if necessary a GP referral. This costs just $10 for a fifteen minute session with a 10% discount for members.
  8. Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options.
  9. Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Always ask your pharmacist or doctor questions if needed.
Knowledge is Power!
Plan For Prevention
  1. Don't go it alone! Everything is more fun when you have company so get your friends and family to join you on this journey
  2. Don't get discouraged! It won’t happen overnight and you may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night's sleep and do what you can
  3. Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress.

For even more ways to protect your heart and live a longer, healthier life, see your local Community Pharmacy Pharmacist.

  1. National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2007 (Report by Vos T and Begg S, Centre for Burden of Disease and Cost effectiveness, University of Queensland School of Population Health). The burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia for the year 2003.
  2. National Heart Foundation, 2005. The shifting burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia. Report by Access Economics Pty Limited.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Death 2011 (3303.0) March 2013.
  4. AIHW, National Hospital Morbidity Database 2009/10.
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2008. Health care expenditure on cardiovascular diseases 2004-05. Cardiovascular disease series no 30. Cat. no. CVD 43. Canberra AIHW.
  6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011. Cardiovascular disease: Australian facts 2011. Cardiovascular disease series. Cat. no. CVD 53. Canberra: AIHW.
  7. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey 2011/12
  1. Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;127(1):e6-e245.
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