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HealthInfo Canterbury


Many New Zealanders are affected by heart problems. In this section, you will find information about some common heart problems. To read about other heart problems, we recommend your browse the National Heart Foundation website.


Many people who get chest pain are worried they might be having a heart attack, but most chest pain is not due to a serious cause. Because there are serious and treatable causes of chest pain, if you have it you should get advice as soon as possible.

If you currently have chest pain and you do not know what it is, do one of the following:

If you are younger than 40, the chance of your chest pain being serious is quite small if you are otherwise well. It is more likely that your pain is coming from your muscles and ribs, or caused by indigestion. No matter what your age, seek medical help if you have chest pain after exercise, or if you are also finding it hard to breathe, have sweating, feel sick, or have a rapid heart rate.

This chest pain page from UpToDate has useful information about the types and causes of chest pain, and what symptoms you should worry about.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2017.

In this section

Heart risk assessment

Angina (chest pain)

Atrial fibrillation (AF)

Funny turns or fainting

Heart attack

Heart failure

Heart murmurs & heart valve problems in adults

Heart murmurs in children

Heart palpitations

Heart treatments

High blood pressure (hypertension)

High cholesterol

High triglycerides

Infective endocarditis

Inherited heart diseases

Tests for heart problems

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