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ABOUT THIS SERVICE

How it works images and wording as per homepage


Our monitoring service makes it easy

  1. We’ll send you a sample collection kit at a regular interval that suits you
  2. Track the changes in your Healthy Heart biomarker levels over time
  3. Monitor your response to changes in diet, lifestyle and exercise

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Fingerprick sample collection kit
  • Secure online results account
  • Pre-paid sample return
  • Laboratory analysis
  • Track your levels over time
  • Free shipping

ABOUT HEARTH HEALTH

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. The term 'heart disease' is often used interchangeably with the term 'cardiovascular disease'. Cardiovascular disease applies to many different diseases typically involving narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. It is when coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood become hardened and narrow because of a build-up of fatty deposits called plaques.

Heart disease commonly occurs together with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Many of the risk factors for heart disease have diet and lifestyle habits at their core. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of plant foods high in fibre, being active, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, and keeping your body weight in check are all positive lifestyle choices that you can make and are in your control.

Keeping your heart healthy means having a good understanding of your risk factors for heart disease. That will allow you to make the right positive lifestyle choices to reduce your chances of developing heart disease. But the risk of heart disease is something that can slowly build up over time. For this reason, regular health checks are important when it comes to heart health, especially if you have a higher risk from such things as a personal or family history of heart disease.

Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be monitored and tracked by looking at changes in different biomarkers in the blood. These biomarkers are strongly linked to the risk of heart disease. The good news is that these biomarkers can respond favourably to lifestyle changes. Regular monitoring of heart health biomarkers will allow you to take preventive measures now to lower your risk of developing heart disease in the future.

Cardiovascular Disease

Australian Facts

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Some key facts on cardiovascular disease (CVD)

  • One in four deaths in Australia each year is from CVD
  • CVD kills 40 percent more males than females
  • Every minute, someone is hospitalised because of CVD
  • Three-quarters of Australians are at risk of developing CVD
  • Many risk factors for cardiovascular disease are changeable through a healthy lifestyle

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general umbrella term for conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels leading to heart attack, stroke and many other problems. It is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Heart disease is the most common kind of CVD and happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is reduced or blocked. This can cause angina (chest pain) and heart attack. It can also cause heart failure which is when the heart cannot adequately pump blood around the body

Stroke is another common type of CVD. Unlike heart disease where the blood supply to the heart is obstructed, in stroke, the blood supply to the brain is blocked or reduced. The result is the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die within minutes.

If the blockage or narrowing of the blood supply to peripheral parts of the body such as the legs happens, then this is called peripheral arterial disease. This can cause a dull cramping pain in the legs which gets worse with walking, muscle weakness, a feeling of numbness and coldness in the legs, and non-healing ulcers on the feet and legs.

Arrhythmias, rheumatic heart disease, high blood pressure, congenital heart disease and deep vein thrombosis are other examples of CVD.

There are many causes of CVD, but the most common one related to heart attacks, stroke and peripheral artery disease is explained by a build-up of fatty deposits (called plaque) in the arteries. The presence of these deposits is called atherosclerosis. It can put a person at major risk of blood clots. High blood pressure, smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and many other factors put a person at a higher risk of CVD.

Signs and symptoms

For coronary heart disease, common signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest pain and a feeling of chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in the legs or arms
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and sweating

For stroke, the common signs and symptoms include:

  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Sudden speech difficulty and weakness of the face muscles
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and trouble walking
  • Sudden severe headache

Are you at risk?

Cardiovascular disease is rarely explained by just one risk factor. Often, a combination of related risk factors occurs together to increase a person’s risk. Common risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • A poor diet low in plant foods and fibre, and high in salt and overly processed sugary and fatty foods
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Not being physically active
  • Carrying too much weight, especially around the abdominal area

How to maintain a healthy heart

Keeping your heart healthy is well within your control. That’s because many of the risk factors for heart disease have diet and lifestyle habits at their centre.

The cornerstone of a healthy heart rests with what you eat. And here, it is not about any single food or nutrient, but instead a dietary pattern or theme with lots of scope to tailor it to your food tastes. One of the best known and well-researched heart-healthy dietary patterns is the Mediterranean diet. Common themes of a heart-healthy diet include:

  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables in place of more highly processed convenience and snack foods
  • Making smart swaps by choosing wholegrain foods over more highly refined grains. Choose wholegrain bread over white bread, swap white rice for brown rice or popular grains like quinoa, and choose foods where wholegrains are listed high up in the ingredient list
  • Opting for healthier fats like those found in nuts, seeds, salmon, avocados and olive oil
  • Including more healthy omega-3 fats in your diet like those found naturally in oily fish, seafood and plant sources such as walnuts, chia, hemp and flaxseed
  • Eating less red meat by swapping it for chicken or fish. Or maybe even some of the many varieties of plant powerhouse legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas or even tofu
  • Adding more spices and herbs to your food instead of salt

Getting more active is one of the most potent health habits that anyone could do. Regular physical activity not only cuts the risk of heart disease, but also the risk of type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer. It also strengthens your muscles and bones and improves your mental mood. Aim for 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. But just moving more naturally throughout your day will reap benefits.

If you smoke, now is the best time ever to quit or to start the process of smoking less. Smokers are 2-4 times more at risk of developing heart disease compared to non-smokers. The benefits of quitting start almost straight away.

Excess weight is linked to the risk of heart disease. But it is a case of not how much fat you have, but where it is found that is more the issue. It is the dangerous belly fat around the abdomen that you want to have less of. Being more active and eating better will go a long way to helping trim the waistline.

Diabetes

Australian Facts:

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  • 1 in 6 people has pre-diabetes
  • 58% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed
  • 3 in 10 adults with diabetes don’t know it yet
  • 1 person every 5 mins develops diabetes
  • Approx. 1.7 million Australians have diabetes