Heart disease and conditions
Heart disease is a general term that means the heart is not working normally.
One in twenty adults live with heart disease in New Zealand. (Ministry of Health (2015) Mortality and Demographic data 2013 (provisional). Wellington: Ministry of Health).
The heart is an organ which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system.
Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, as well as assists in the removal of metabolic wastes.
Also referred to as cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, this is the leading cause of death for both men and women in New Zealand.
Every year approximately 33% of New Zealand adults die from cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke.
Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart's muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
Every ninty minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease (Ministry of Health (2015) Mortality and Demographic data 2013 (provisional). Wellington: Ministry of Health).
It is estimated that 90% of CVD is preventable through healthy eating, exercise, avoidance of tobacco smoke and limiting alcohol intake.
There are some factors which predispose CVD such as older age and family history of heart disease.
For more information refer to www.heartfoundation.org.nz