What is a heart health check?

What is a heart health check?

A heart health check is an important step you can take to determine your risk of heart disease and stroke. Conducted by a medical professional or specialist, the results can detect a potential issue with your heart. The goal of a heart health check is to help you lower your risk of heart disease.

What happens in a heart check-up?

A heart health check usually takes around 10-20 minutes and typically begins with several questions about your lifestyle, diet, and your family medical history. Your GP, nurse or specialist will then also measure three key modifiable risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

The three key risk factors tested in a heart heath check:

Why do I need to get my heart health tested?

Put simply, a heart health check could save your life. Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australians. But it can often be prevented by understanding your risk factors. While there isn’t one single cause of heart disease, there are multiple types of risk factors that can significantly increase your chance of developing it. The greater number of risk factors you have, the higher your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

Unfortunately, there are some risk factors that can’t be changed. These can include your age and family history. However, there are many different factors that we do have the ability to control, such as diet and lifestyle which can significantly minimise your chance of developing heart disease.

Importantly, there are very effective treatments for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar – which is why they are called ‘modifiable’ risk factors. Because effective therapies are readily available for these risk factors, it is well worth getting them checked out.

Who needs a heart health check?

Heart health checks are recommended for both men and women that are not already known to have heart disease or stroke. If you are 45 and over, or 30 and over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, it is appropriate to arrange a heart health check.

While this is the current Australian Government recommendation for the general population, it is worth noting that for certain people at increased risk of heart disease a health care professional may recommend beginning heart health checks at an earlier age.

Where can I get a heart health check?

The Victor Chang Heart Health Tour travels around Australia offering free heart health screening to help fight heart disease. Operated by trained specialists, our team uses fast, reliable, non-invasive testing equipment with results available immediately. Launched in 2010, this is one of our most important community programs, helping people understand their risk of heart disease to stop heartbreak happening to you.

A heart health check can also be conducted with your GP and eligible patients can receive a Medicare rebate. Selected pharmacies can also provide this service.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal of the Eora nation, on which we meet, work, and discover.
Our Western Australian laboratories pay their respect to the Whadjuk Noongar who remain as the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.

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