Heart disease and diabetes kill more than 6000 New Zealanders each year, and many of these deaths could be avoided.
The heart and diabetes checks have been established to help save these lives – the More Heart and Diabetes Checks Health Target aims to have regular heart and diabetes checks for at least 90% of those at risk of developing these conditions.
The relationship between diabetes and heart disease (also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD) has been recognized for a long time.
What is a heart and diabetes check?
A heart and diabetes check works out your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years. It also tells you if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes (where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes).
The check will let you know what your risk is and give you the chance to talk to your doctor or nurse about ways to improve your health and lead a healthier life.
Your family doctor or nurse will:
- ask about your risk factors such as smoking, exercise and diet
- ask if there is any family history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes
- measure your blood pressure, height, weight and waist
- test your cholesterol and blood glucose levels (for diabetes).
After considering all the risk factors, your doctor or nurse will calculate your risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next 5 years.
It's quick, painless and it might just save your life – so go on, call your family doctor or nurse for a heart health and diabetes check.
When should I have a heart and diabetes check?
You should get a heart and diabetes check if you are in one of these groups:
- Māori, Pacific and Indo-Asian men over 35 and women over 45
- European men over 45 and European women over 55
- you have a family history of heart problems.
More information about heart and diabetes checks and heart disease is available through the Heart Foundation website.
More information about diabetes can be found on the Diabetes page of this site.