Is it time to get your heart health checked?

A doctor checking heart valve health is unintrusive and can help patients to avoid unnecessary health complications.

 

HEART health is often something we don’t think about, but if you are over 65 it is time to get real about your heart health.

During the pandemic many people have put off getting a check up with their doctor or have migrated to telehealth, however some things need to be checked in person.

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High blood pressure and other conditions can be hidden without symptoms telling us that there is a potential problem.

Heart doctors are issuing this public health plea to help curb our nation’s rising rates of undiagnosed, but easily treated, heart valve disease – the malfunctioning of one or more heart valves that disrupts blood flow through the heart.

There is a simple test that can alert your doctor of underlying conditions and help you to avoid undiagnosed and unnecessary health complications.

It’s as simple as getting your doctor to listen to your heart.

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has released a whitepaper, which clearly warns that some types of heart disease can go unrecognised, undiagnosed and untreated, with devastating complications.

More than half a million Australians are living with heart valve disease, while more than a quarter of a million Australians have faulty heart valves, and don’t know it.

The number of undiagnosed cases of heart valve disease is projected to spiral in the next three decades to 435,000 by 2051, placing a heavy burden on our nation’s healthcare system, ageing population, and economy.

Timely diagnosis and early intervention is crucial to avoid a person presenting to a doctor in crisis and it can be as simple as having your doctor listen to your heart.

Professor Tom Hardwick, a Cardiologist, Director and Chief Executive at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute said, “Valvular Heart disease is increasing due to the aging population, this is a serious but treatable disease and greatest barrier to treatment is failure to recognise, so when you next see your GP ask them to listen.”

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Diagram of a heart valve.

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