Cardiovascular disease (heart, stroke and blood vessel disease) is the leading cause of death in New Zealand.

Many heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. There are often lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and well-being and lower your cardiovascular disease risk.

Your doctor or nurse can help you with an assessment, and with advice on medication and lifestyle.

Who can have an assessment?
Your doctor or nurse can screen you for Cardiovascular disease risk if you are in one of these groups:

  • Māori, Pacific or Indian men aged 35–74 years
  • Māori, Pacific or Indian men aged 45–74 years
  • Men of other ethnicities aged 45–74 years
  • Women of other ethnicities aged 55–74 years

What is a cardiovascular risk assessment?
The assessment suggests the likelihood of you developing angina or having a heart attack in the next 5 years, by looking at the following risk factors for Cardiovascular disease:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol level
  • Diabetes status
  • Smoking status

The assessment also looks at your ethnicity, family history of heart disease, and physical activity levels.

What other help can I get?
Comprehensive Care offers patient education group sessions for people who have a higher risk of Cardiovascular disease.

Your doctor or practice nurse can refer you to a “Healthy Living Heart Health” group and to other community programmes, such as Green Prescription, to help you to become more active.

For further information talk to your doctor or Practice Nurse.