Heart disease (cardiovascular disease, or CVD) is one of the largest health problems facing Australian’s today. In fact, it’s currently the single leading cause of death in Australia with 17,533 people losing their lives to it in 2018 alone. In addition, an estimated 1.2 million (6%) of Australian adults reported having at least one condition relating to their heart or vascular disease in 2017-18. Often there are no symptoms of heart disease, which means people are unaware that they are even at risk until it’s too late. Prevention and education are crucial when trying to stay on top of your heart health, and getting regular heart health checks is one of the most simple and effective ways detect a cardiovascular problem.
What is the purpose of a heart health check?
The purpose of a heart health check is to assess your employee’s heart disease risk factors. Depending on the type of check that you get you will also be able to get an estimate of how likely you are of having a heart attack or stroke within the next five years. Heart health checks are also a great opportunity to discuss techniques to lower or where possible remove any risk factors that may negatively affect your heart health.
What happens during a heart health check?
During a heart health check specific risk factors including blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol levels and waist measurement, will be measured and discussed. Other risk factors such as, diet and nutrition, physical activity, emotional health and smoking may also be examined depending on the type of heart health check you choose. Other tests may include:
● HDL Cholesterol
● LDL Cholesterol
● Resting heart rate
● Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
Depending on your result, you may be provided with advice or recommendations on changes that you can implement to help lower your risk of heart disease. These will usually include lifestyle changes such as improving your diet, exercising more, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol. If your risk level is high you may be referred onto a GP for further investigation and discussion.