A great believer in walking the talk, Sport Auckland Chief Executive Mike Elliott signed up for a CVD assessment with Auckland DHB.
‘It makes it easier for me to talk about and advocate CVD assessment to others if I have gone through this process myself,’ he says.
For Mike, the experience ended up offering more than role modelling. His results confirmed he still had very high ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Mike has had high bad (also called LDL) cholesterol levels in the past, and a family history of cholesterol problems; his dad shocked the family by dying suddenly from a heart attack at age 73.
‘He had appeared fit but the post mortem showed high cholesterol levels and a blocked artery,’ Mike says.
Since his father’s death 11 years ago, Mike had been taking cholesterol-lowering medication but stopped about 4 months before the assessment.
‘I was going on an overseas trip and didn’t want to be taking medication. I also thought I had my cholesterol problem under control through exercise.’
But seeing the results appear almost instantly in front of you makes it difficult to ignore the facts, he admits.
‘If that doesn’t motivate you, I’m not sure what would!’
He says the results were backed up by an informative discussion and some great resources, including a recommendation to take advantage of using Sport Auckland’s Green Prescription Programme.
‘It was a painless way to get answers and make life-changing decisions,’ Mike says.
Mike has increased his physical activity by engaging a personal trainer, cycling regularly and committing to annual checkups with his GP. He is also monitoring his diet more closely. Prior to the screening check, unhealthy eating habits had been creeping in.
He has had his cholesterol checked again and found his ‘bad’ cholesterol level has dropped again.
This story is part of Auckland DHB – staff assessments for cardiovascular disease.
Read the next story in this series: Patrick Mendes – keeping himself in good nick.