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YOUR AGE DOESN’T MATTER TO HEART DISEASES 16 October 2018

 

Are you taking care of your heart? Because heart diseases don’t care who you are or how old you are. They can hurt you whenever, wherever, so it’s time to look after your heart.

Heart Diseases and Age

Whether you’re younger or older in age, heart disease can strike at any time. Yes, it is more common to see heart diseases amongst the middle age group and the elderly but it also impacts the younger generation too1.

Why are older generations more likely to experience heart diseases? It’s because blood vessels become less flexible as people age, which then restricts blood movement2. Poor exercise habits and nutrition also comes into play which puts people at risk of a heart attack.

Heart diseases also impact younger generations through various means. Genetics (due to inherited conditions) plays a role in heart disease. These people may have familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) which is an inherited condition that causes high blood cholesterol levels in families1. Heart disease can also impact anyone who had surgery during their childhood because of their heart conditions1.

Additionally, the usual cases of smoking, obesity, a lack of exercise, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can potentially lead to an early onset of heart disease for all ages.

Heart Disease Statistics in Australia

The ABS released the following statistics about heart diseases in Australia for 2011-123:

  • 5% of people aged 2 years and over (1.1 million people) had a heart disease.
  • More than a quarter (29.2%) of Australians aged 75+ had heart disease.
  • Men aged 85+ has the highest rate of heart disease.

The Heart Foundation of Australia also gathered the following statistics from the National Health Survey for the 2014-15 period1:

  • 12,000 people aged 18-40 during 2014-15 had ischaemic heart disease
  • Another 12,000 people had other forms of heart disease such as heart failure
  • 80,000 people have irregular or an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • 11,500 people have cerebrovascular disease.
  • Coronary heart disease impacts a large group of people after they turn 30.

These statistics show how many people are susceptible to heart disease, irrespective of their age.

Consequences of Heart Disease

So what happens once heart disease hits? The consequences could be a variety of things depending on how severe the heart disease is. Illnesses, disabilities, fatigue, depression and a lower quality of life may follow4. This can influence your day-to-day routine and also impact the people around you.

Fighting Heart Disease Risk

Heart disease can strike at any time and it’s up to you to reduce the risk. Our previous blog explored a few methods of reducing the risk of heart disease. As an overview, quitting smoking, having a dependable network of family and friends, exercising, and having a healthy diet can reduce heart disease risk. However, all this comes down to your commitment towards fighting heart disease.

Your heart matters, so are you ready to reduce your heart disease risk?

 1. National Heart Foundation of Australia 2016, Heart disease in young people, <https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news/heart-disease-in-young-people>

 2. Resnick, A 2014, How Age and Gender Affect Your Heart, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, <https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2FheartDisease%2FageAndGender.html>

 3. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Heart Disease, 4338.0 Profiles of Health, Australia, 2011-13, Canberra,<http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4338.0~2011-13~Main%20Features~Heart%20disease~10005>

 4. Million Hearts, Costs & Consequences, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/learn-prevent/cost-consequences.html>