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Think about your family history

If an immediate male relative, i.e., your father or brother, has had a heart attack before the age of 55, or if an immediate female relative, i.e., your mother or sister, has had one before the age of 65, you are at greater risk of developing heart disease.

If both parents have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease before the age of 55, your risk of developing heart disease can rise to 50% compared to the general population.

Diann talks about several immediate family members diagnosed with heart disease

Do you know your numbers?

Your heart numbers, blood pressure (BP) and your cholesterol ratio (TC/HDL), are two of the most important numbers you need to know because they give an insight into how healthy your heart is and also reflect the effect that your lifestyle is having on your body.

Why not change these as a family/ whānau? You can support each other.

Visit our Know your Numbers website and use our Heart Forecast tool to measure how great your risk of a heart attack or stroke is.

Did you know?

People who live together often share the same risk factors.

People who have a family history of heart disease should see their doctor and have a conversation about that risk probably earlier than for people who don’t have a family history.Dr Fraser Hamilton
Dr Fraser Hamilton
Everything is dependent on my heart, mechanically, electrically, physiologically, emotionally and passionately. Whatever happens it all comes back to how well your heart performs in all areas.Helen Thompson-Carter
Helen Thompson-Carter

Even if you have a strong family history of heart disease you can protect yourself and your immediate family by taking care of your heart. There are lots of different risk factors that contribute to coronary heart disease, not just your family history.

It’s a good idea to talk about your plans for change with your partner, family or friends. Talk to anyone who can provide support or who may need to understand why you’re changing your habits. They may even be able to help in concrete ways. For example, your spouse can help you plan heart healthier meals. In fact, your whole family can make a change for a heart healthy life.

Encourage your family to ask their GP for a heart and diabetes check so they can find out their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Dr Fraser Hamilton talks about family risk of heart disease

Discuss family risk with my health professional


Discuss my plans for change with family

Don’t forget
Find out your numbers now

Continue the journey

Stop smoking
Discover the facts about smoking and heart disease
Read more
Eating and drinking
Learn more about the benefits of heart healthy eating
Read more

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