This Heart Week, from May 1-7, the Heart Foundation’s mobile clinic is returning to Ballarat to provide the community with free 15-minute heart health checks.
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Diana Heggie said approximately six people suffer a heart attack each week in Ballarat and this number is expected to rise if people don’t take action to improve their health.
“The Heart Foundation is urging residents to have a heart health check to find out their risk of having a heart attack and what they can do to prevent it,” she said.
“Many people may not be aware that they have risk factors for heart attack.
“Risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol are often called the silent killers as there are no obvious symptoms – having a heart attack can be the first sign.
“A heart health check is the best way to find out your risk of a heart attack and is particularly important for men and women aged 45 and over, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who are aged 35 and over.”
This Heart Week marks the second time the Heart Foundation has partnered with Ballarat Community Health to provide Heart Health Checks, but this year the charity is also working with health services in surrounding areas so more people can find out if they are at risk.
“Thanks to growing local support, we’re pleased to announce that people in Maryborough, Carisbrook, Dunolly, Avoca, Clunes and Ballan will also be able to have a free Heart Health Check,” Heggie said.
“When you visit one of the clinics, a health professional will assess your risk factors including your blood pressure and cholesterol, and confidentially discuss how you can make a change to improve your health.
“We want everyone to know the risk factors because the more factors you have, the higher your chance of having a heart attack.”
Other risk factors include smoking, being overweight and obese, a lack of physical activity, and a poor diet.
Ballarat Community Health (BCH) Acting CEO Jane Measday said heart health has never been more of a priority for BCH.
“All the work we do with workplaces and the community to get people being more active and eating healthier food goes part of the way in addressing heart health, but it is also equally important to regularly see a GP.”
Ms Heggie added that if you can’t make it to one of the clinics, visit your doctor or your local community health centre and ask for a heart health check.
The heart health checks are proudly supported by Red Energy, a 100 per cent Australian-owned electricity and gas retailer.
For a full list of participating clinics in the Ballarat region visit the website www.heartfoundation.org.au/heartcheck
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.