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HealthInfo Canterbury

Reducing my risk of a heart attack

You are more likely to get angina or have a heart attack if you:

See your GP to find out about your risk of having heart problems.

What can I do to reduce my risk?

Cliff walkingMaintain a healthy lifestyle, for example, by:

You may need medicines to help manage your heart health. Even so, it is still very important to manage your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Read the Heart Foundation's booklet on Lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke to learn what lifestyle changes you can make to keep your heart healthy.

Testing (screening) for heart disease

It's important to have regular check-ups with your GP. Men should start having regular heart checks from around the age of 45, and women should start having them from 55. If you have one of the risk factors listed above, or if you are of Māori, Pacific, or Indian descent you should start having them 10 years earlier (at age 35 for men, 45 for women). Women are not immune to heart disease – it is the biggest killer of women in New Zealand.

There are several tests for heart disease. Talk to your GP about what tests you need – they will refer you to a heart specialist if they think you need further tests.

You may choose to see a private heart specialist (cardiologist). You can find a private heart specialist by searching on Healthpages or Healthpoint.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Cardiology GP liaison, Canterbury DHB, Page created August 2016. Last updated November 2018.

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Review key: HIHAT-110391