Heart disease – Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Heart disease is Australia’s single leading cause of death. Heart disease kills one Australian every 28 minutes.

The term ‘heart disease’ is often used as a substitute for the term ‘cardiovascular disease’. Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term used to describe diseases of the heart and peripheral blood vessels in the body, head and legs.

Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that include narrowed or blocked blood vessels, which could lead to a heart attack, lower leg pain on activity, or a stroke.

Symptoms of cardiovascular disease include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • facial numbness
  • weakness
  • rapid heart rate
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • palpitations
  • chest discomfort
  • fatigue upon exertion
  • leg pain on activity
  • cold and painful feet
  • abdominal pain after meals.

Keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy is the most important factor in reducing your risk of developing the disease.

You can do so by seeing your doctor to assess your cardiovascular risk (based on family and medical history, smoking, dietary history & weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels). Improving your lifestyle through a healthy diet and moderate level of exercise is important.

Cardiovascular disease is a very serious illness that can be fatal. If you are, or someone you know is, experiencing these symptoms you should immediately call 000.

Recourse regarding cardiovascular disease: