Heart disease is the single biggest killer of men and women in New Zealand, and the Heart Foundation is calling for people to show their big hearts by giving their time in its annual street collection on February 19 and 20.
Heart Foundation medical director Dr Gerry Devlin says the foundation has a long and proud record of research investment, which has improved the heart health of all New Zealanders for more than 50 years, but there is still more work to do. Volunteer collectors are urgently needed.
“Not only will you be raising life-saving funds for heart research, you’ll also be connecting with people in your community and having fun,” Dr Devlin says.
To volunteer: heartfoundation.org.nz/get-involved/big-heart-appeal/street-collection, or phone 0800 244 432
Ticker testing recommended
February is Heart Month, and the NZ Heart Foundation says there is no better time to get a heart check.
Heart tests give you and your doctor more information about the condition of your heart and can help you find out which treatment may be best for you. There are several tests available, but the most common are the electrocardiograph (ECG) tests.
An electrocardiograph machine records your heart’s rhythm onto paper through sticky electrodes which are placed on the chest, arms and legs. The recording will show if the heart muscle is damaged or short of oxygen. There are also specialised ECG tests:
• An exercise tolerance test involves two ECG scans, one when you are exercising and one when you are resting. Some heart problems only appear when your heart needs to work harder.
• A cardiac holter monitoring test is used to identify any heart rhythm problems. For this test you wear a small, portable ECG machine for 24 or 48 hours and during this time your heart rate and rhythm are recorded.
• Event monitoring is used to record your heartbeat when you experience symptoms such as dizziness, black outs, chest pain or palpitations. When you experience symptoms, you will need to press a button to start the recording.
For more information, visit heartfoundation.org.nz