People with heart disease or taking medication for blood pressure or excess fluid, such as diuretics, are at higher risk of falling ill or having a heart attack during a heatwave.
Stephen Vines, Heart Foundation Queensland CEO, said people should prepare themselves and think about how they’ll cope and look out for each other as the temperatures continue to soar.
“People with heart disease are at much higher risk in the extreme heat,” Mr Vines said.
“Heatwaves also take a particular toll on the health of our elderly relatives and friends – and I would urge people to be vigilant about looking out for them during these hotter days.”
Mr Vines explained that as the temperature rises, the body responds to try and balance with the heat by increasing blood flow to the skin and by sweating.
“Sweating leads to dehydration, which reduces the volume of blood. This makes the heart pump harder to circulate the reduced amount of blood around the body,” he said.
“For people with heart disease and those who are at high risk of a heart attack, these changes can overwhelm the heart and could even result in a heart attack,” he added.
“It’s really important people know the warning signs for a heart attack and act quickly to call triple zero (000) if they need help.”
Heatwave health tips:
For more information, call the Heart Foundation's Helpline on 13 11 12.
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Media contact for interviews: Paula Lazzarini, 07 3872 2500 or 0427 619 589
We are here to answer your questions. Call 13 11 12 and talk to one of our qualified heart health professionals. If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 and ask for the Heart Foundation.