Research from the Heart Foundation attests that the Gosford Local Government Area has one of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the country.
District head of cardiology, Dr Maged William said chest pain or heart attack was the main heart related cause for admission to Gosford Hospital.
“Our incidence of various cardiovascular disease problems is one of the highest in the country,” he said. “This is because we have a higher percentage of all cardiovascular risk factors than other areas.”
Dr William said these risk factors included diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and an average age older than the national average.
He said when someone does present to hospital with heart attack or chest pain this can be the tip of the iceberg. “These patients can suffer a range of long-term complications including arrhythmia and heart failure,” he said.
Dr William said the good news was that most cardiovascular conditions were preventable and steps taken now could prevent a heart attack in 10 or 20 years’ time.
“When someone presents having a heart attack, it is a long standing case of plaque buildup in their arteries, a problem which has been in the making for 20 years,” he said.
Cardiovascular disease risk factors which can be modified include smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and being overweight.
According to Dr William, it is important to be aware of symptoms such as chest pain on exertion, palpitations, or shortness of breath which can indicate an underlying cardiovascular disease.
“These symptoms should be acted upon quickly by consulting your local GP, but if the symptoms are more acute and you feel discomfort or tightness in your chest or upper body then you need to dial 000 or present to the hospital immediately,” he said.
Sep 28, 2015
Lauren Nicholls, Central
Coast Local Health District