This February in Australia is Heart Research Month, a month to create and raise awareness for various heart health conditions and diseases. Heart disease kills one Australian every 27 minutes. Heart disease can also be referred to as cardiovascular disease, and is a broad term used to refer to any type of condition which affects your heart.
Conditions can include:
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Cardiac Arrest
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Coronary Heart Disease
- CPVT (Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia)
- Familial Hypocholesterolaemia
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Heart Valve Disease
- Inherited Heart Conditions
Heart disease can affect anyone, but did you know men are of higher risk than women? This fact became shockingly clear to our pharmacist Steve, when he was diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease in mid 2018. Prior to this life changing diagnosis, Steve had been struggling with frequent bouts of severe chest pain, which prompted him to seek help from his doctor. After undergoing an ECG, a dye angiogram followed by a coronary angiogram, a conclusive diagnosis was made. Steve now takes a daily combination of medications; a cholesterol lowering agent and low dose Aspirin to keep his blood thinned.
Luckily, early detection has allowed Steve to implement lifestyle changes and habits which help him to stay on top of his heart health. Staying physically active through going to the gym and playing weekly soccer games, plus a healthy diet with plenty of good foods all work positively in collaboration with his medication.
In all cases of heart disease, there are controllable and uncontrollable factors which come into play. 90% of our Australian population have at least one risk factor for heart disease, with the more risk factors you have, the higher your chance is of developing a form of heart disease.
A few risks which you can begin to control are; smoking, being inactive, being overweight, eating an unhealthy diet, or having habits which lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. By implementing changes into your daily life, you are already taking active steps (both physically and metaphorically) towards a lower risk factor.
Factors you can’t control range from age, gender, ethnicity and family history. You can learn even more about risk factors and how they may impact your health here on the Heart Research Australia website.
This month at Padbury Pharmacy, Steve is leading the charge for heart health! On Valentine’s Day, Thursday February 14th, all of our staff from Padbury Pharmacy will be participating in Wear Red Day, an initiative from Heart Research Australia to advocate for awareness of heart disease and encourage people to take action. Whether that action be making small lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise or booking an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss symptoms and concerns.
We also encourage all of our customers to visit us in-store in your red outfits and bring along a gold coin donation. Our neighbour Alex Junior will have a delicious selection of red velvet cupcakes to choose from, and we’ll have a beautiful range of single stem carnations available for purchase, with all of the money raised for these sales donated directly back to Heart Research Australia to support their year-round research and activations.
We will also be running free blood pressure checks throughout the month where we encourage you to come on in and take the first step in owning your heart health in 2019. No bookings are required, just chat to our friendly team who will be happy to assist you.
If you’re looking for a way to combine your love of socialising with some physical activity, why not head along to Steve’s favourite local walking group, the Hillary’s Urban Strollers. Join team leader Stacey every Tuesday morning at Whitfords Nodes from 7.30am for medium paced laps and chats around the park. The group are pram friendly, so it’s great for mums too! To register as a walker, click the link here. If you’ve recently received your own diagnosis this may be a perfect time to speak to fellow sufferers about your own struggles, and how to combat the anxieties heart disease presents.
Heart Research month is something of great importance to us at Padbury Pharmacy, and we’re proud to be working towards a greater awareness of the issues which do or will face so many of us in our lifetime. Join us this month and put your heart first in 2019. Hear more from Steve about this important cause in his video below.
Information sourced from Heart Research Australia.