You may have recently received a text or letter to let you know your CVD risk (Heart Attack/Stroke risk)
What is a CVD risk assessment? (Cardiovascular Risk Assessment?)
A Cardiovascular Risk Assessment gives you an idea of your risk of having a Heart Attack or Stroke. Heart attacks and Strokes cause about 40% of our deaths in New Zealand every year and are our leading cause of death.
Who needs an assessment?
Maori, Pacifica, and Indian men from age 30
Maori, Pacifica and Indian women from age 40
All other men from age 45
All other women from age 55
In some cases, we do assessments earlier depending on your health and family history.
What does it mean?
An assessment never looks at just one thing – it looks at the big picture. Your age, sex, blood pressure, family history, medical history, smoking history, cholesterol, weight, ethnicity all contribute to give us an idea of what your risk is. Your risk is given as a percentage. Say your risk is 10%. What that means is that people who are the same age, sex, ethnicity and have similar blood tests and medical history as yourself; 10 out of 100 of them will have a Heart Attack or Stroke in the next 5 years. This is a calculation only, but it is quite accurate.
Can I lower my risk percentage?
Most people have things they can change and things they can’t. You may not be able to change your age or medical history, but you may be able to change other things to lower your risk such as quit smoking, control your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol or diabetes if these things apply to you.
I would like more information, what can I do?
Make a free appointment in our Heart Clinic to discuss your risk. We can give you information and explain everything to you. If you would like to be referred to other services we can do that for you. Don’t worry, we’re not scary! We always work WITH you. You may wish to make changes to your diet, lifestyle or start medication if necessary – we support you with whatever option you wish to pursue. Alternatively, you can book a standard-fee appointment with your Doctor, or you can discuss your risk when you are next in for a health concern or prescription.
If you would like some quality online resources:
Or the Health Navigator website for excellent health informationhttps://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/