Most women do not realise that heart disease is still the single biggest killer of women in New Zealand. Find out what you can do to improve your heart health.
As women, we are often so busy caring for our families or wider whānau we don't stop to look after ourselves and take as much care as we should.
Encourage your wife, partner, mother, sister or work colleagues to see their doctor/nurse for a heart check, also known as a cardiovascular risk assessment.
When to start having a heart check?
- All Māori, Pacific and Indian subcontinent women aged 45–74
- All women with known cardiovascular risk factors (see Heart Forecast)
- All other ethnicities women aged 55–74
- Women with diabetes - once a year from time of diagnosis
Your Heart Forecast
This is an excellent tool for finding our your 'heart age' and looking at what happens if you reduce any risk factors. Click on the image below to go to the online tool or click Your Heart Forecast.
Risk factors for heart disease
- Our genes – if your mother or father first had heart disease at a younger age (before age 55 for men and 65 for women) this can put you at slightly higher risk of heart disease.
- Smoking – this is the number one risk factor for increased risk of heart disease in women and men.
- Being inactive – physical activity is also important for heart health.
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes – if you have poor diabetes control, your risk of heart disease strongly increases.
- Obesity – keeping to a healthy weight is good for our hearts
- Polycystic ovarian disease
Read more about each of these areas at the links above.