You’ve Only Got One Heart, Don’t Fail It

People over 65 or who have symptoms of heart failure are urged to see their doctor this Heart Failure Awareness Week.

Did you know that heart failure is common and on the rise in Australia?

It affects 500,000 Australians and claims around 61,000 lives each year; that’s around eight deaths each day or one death every three hours.

June 27 to July 3 is Heart Failure Awareness Week.

When we hear ‘heart failure’ we think that the heart has stopped or failed, but that isn’t the case.

The truth is that as more people survive heart attacks and other acute heart diseases, more people will develop heart failure.

Heart failure means that the heart is failing to keep up with the body’s demands.

There is good news - people with heart failure can reduce their risk of hospitalisation, feel better and live longer, healthier lives with early diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes.

Heart Failure Awareness Week’s peak body hearts4heart, Parliamentary Friends of Heart and Stroke, cardiologists and heart failure patients and carers across the country have urged Aussies to be smart about their hearts and speak with their GP about heart failure, particularly if they are over 65 or experiencing symptoms.

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • New or worsening shortness of breath (particularly during physical activity or waking you up at night);
  • Difficulty lying flat at night;
  • Fainting or passing out;
  • Weight gain (more than 2kg per week);
  • Muscular fatigue, tiredness;
  • Swelling of ankles or legs;
  • Swelling of abdomen;
  • Dizziness;
  • Heart palpitations (heart pounding or beating too fast);
  • Chest pain or discomfort in parts of the upper body;
  • Unexplained coughing and wheezing;
  • Loss of appetite; and
  • Constipation.

If you have any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor.

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