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HealthInfo Canterbury

Preventing angina and heart attacks

A lot of factors make you more likely to have angina or a heart attack. These factors also make you more likely to have other health problems such as stroke and dementia.

Heart risk assessments

Doing a heart risk assessment gives an estimate of how likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke within the next five years. It uses several known risk factors such as your age, ethnicity, family history and other heath conditions. You can do this yourself or with your GP or practice nurse.

The age you should start having heart risk assessments depends on your sex, ethnicity and other risk factors. See Heart risk assessment for details.

Make healthy choices

Cliff walkingYou have an important role to play in your heart health. While you can't change some risk factors, you can change others. The choices you make every day do matter. Over time, what you eat, drink, do and how you live can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The more healthy changes you make, the better it is for your heart health. Changes you can make include:

Keep other conditions under control

Be checked for and keep under control other conditions that affect your heart, such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Take your medications

If you take medicines to reduce your risk, it's important to keep taking them for life. If you have side effects or are concerned about your medications, talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping them.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2021.

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