RedFeb: Wear red this February for someone close to your heart
RedFeb is an annual Heart Research Australia event where people are encouraged to wear red on behalf of someone they care about who has been impacted by heart disease.
RedFeb aims to raise awareness and much needed funds for research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, including coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, valve disease and arrhythmias.
Northern Health Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner, Vikki Hannah, says many people may not be aware of their risk factors for heart disease, as some risk-factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, have no symptoms.
“It’s never too late to manage your risk of heart disease and improve your heart health. Some risk factors for heart disease are beyond your control, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and family history, but there is no one cause for heart disease. Most heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with healthy choices,” she says.
“Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are a few of the ways you can reduce your changes of having heart disease. I encourage anyone 45 years and over, or 30 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to have a regular heart health check with their GP.”
Ms Hannah also highlighted that research shows women are much less likely to undergo treatment for a heart attack or angina in hospital compared to men.
“Almost every hour of every day an Australian woman dies of heart disease. Chest pain is a common heart attack symptom in both men and women, but women are more likely to experience non-chest pain symptoms, such as back pain, vomiting and indigestion,” she says.
“Also, in addition to traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors, the risk of a heart attack or stroke can also be affected by women-specific risk factors, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, premature menopause and pregnancy complications.”
For more information on RedFeb, please visit www.heartresearch.com.au/redfeb.
Image details: Northern Health Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner, Vikki Hannah (seated right) with members of the Heart Failure team.