The good news is that heart disease is largely preventable. There is no single cause for heart disease, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing it.
Why is it important for me to know my risk?
Knowing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is the first step you can take to help prevent one.
There are known risk factors that contribute to your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. A combination of risk factors show your overall likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years - this is known as your 'absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk'. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to have a high chance (risk) of having a heart attack or stroke.
Many risk factors are silent killers, as there are no obvious symptoms. You may not even know you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Non-modifiable risk factors
Some risk factors you can't control, like your:
Modifiable risk factor
Other risk factors you can change, like:
How do I find out my risk?
Finding out your absolute CVD risk is as simple as visiting your doctor for a Heart Health Check. Talking to your doctor about your risk factors is the only way you can find out about your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. More importantly, it's the best way to find out how to prevent one.
Risk factors heart information in 11 languages
A new information sheet on risk factors is now available in 11 languages. Healthy heart habits is a two page flyer explaining how you can reduce your risk of heart disease. This resource is available in the following languages:
You can also contact the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to telephone the Heart Foundation's Health Information Service.
Access free, personalised information on heart health, nutrition and healthy lifestyle by contacting our Health Information Service or call 1300 36 27 87 during business hours and one of our qualified health professionals will be able to answer your query.