A Victor Chang Heart Health Check being conducted at a corporate event

How COVID has impacted our heart health

Shock heart health statistics reveal the COVID effect is real

12 February 2023

Nearly half of Australians undergoing Victor Chang Heart Health Checks (VCHHC) had test results outside of the healthy range.

Blood pressure being taken by Clare during a Victor Chang Heart Health Check

The Heart Health Check specialist team, which conducts a mobile testing service, found cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels were all significantly higher since the start of COVID-19.

Since March 2020, the number of people having at least one test result outside the healthy range increased from 33 percent to 47 percent - a relative 42 percent increase.

Victor Chang Heart Health Check Program Manager Anastasia Dounas said the results demonstrated the COVID effect was real and a huge concern.

“People undergoing our heart health checks told us that COVID had a big effect on their health and lifestyles. They got out of the habit of going to the gym during lockdown and ate and drank more because they were worried and stressed and that led to weight gain,” said Ms Dounas.

“Working from home also led to less incidental exercise and the fear of COVID saw more people choosing to drive to work than catching public transport which resulted in people taking less steps each day. That all adds up.”

Key results

Victor Chang Heart Health Check nurse Clare Lennon said it was now more important than ever that people got their annual heart health check and started re-engaging with exercise and a healthy diet.

“Heart health checks are vital in revealing if you are at risk of heart disease but can also help prevent it. Lifestyle changes or medications can make a huge difference to your risk factors, but you need to be aware of whether you have high cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar to begin with. We would urge people to book in with their GP for the Medicare funded heart health check or contact our team to book our service for your workplace. It could save your life,” said Ms Lennon.
Victor Chang Heart Health Check Specialist conducting a mobile heart health check

About the Victor Chang Heart Health Check

VCCRI operates the nationwide Victor Chang Heart Health Check (VCHHC) a mobile heart health testing service for organisations and their clients providing on-site assessments, that are convenient and hassle-free by bringing the testing to workplaces or events. In as little as 10 minutes our team of qualified Heart Health Check Specialists take on-the-spot measurements of a person’s blood pressure, total cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, using the latest technology and equipment. The team explains the meaning of each measurement and discusses appropriate lifestyle changes the individual can make to positively impact their test results and overall heart health. Every participant receives a Participant Results Form detailing their personal results and information on healthy ranges. If any of the results are outside of the healthy range, our Heart Health Check Specialists recommend the participant follow up with their GP, for a complete check-up.

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For all media enquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Julia Timms
Head, Media & Communications
0457 517 355

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years