HEART Foundation is keeping a close check on Ballarat for its annual heart week in a new targeted approach.
Prominent campaigns splashed across Ballarat the past two years, right in the heartland of the nation’s second worst region for cardiovascular disease.
Heart Foundation cardiovascular health programs director Sue Forrest said this time, the foundation was taking a step back without stepping out.
The foundation has been working closely with community groups and organisations to help tailor and promote programs already in place.
This has included Western Bulldogs-led men’s health initiative Sons of the West walking groups and Heart Bear, a peer support group for people recovering from heart attacks.
Dr Forrest said the move was to help build prolonged action in improving heart health.
“We’re trying to see how many different things we can do to help feed local groups and solve the issue,” Dr Forrest said. “We’re taking a mixed approach because not every thing is going to work in every city.”
High blood pressure is the focus for this year’s Heart Week campaign. Dr Forrest said it was about getting back to basics with nearly one million adult Victorians unaware of their high blood pressure.
A lack of symptoms means the only true way of knowing high blood pressure was to get regular blood pressure checks from a general practitioner.
Dr Forrest said key contributors for high blood pressure came back to lifestyle factors, like exercise, diet and salt intake.
The foundation will be doing free blood pressure checks at the Ballarat Farmers’ Market in what Dr Forrest said was a quick gauge to whether a more in-depth heart health check was needed.
A new snapshot of Australia’s heart health is soon to be released. Ballarat ranked the worst region in the nation for physical inactivity (85.3 per cent) two years ago, the third worst for smoking (28.1) and 10th for high blood pressure (40.6).