Doctor urges check-ups, Heart Foundation seeks government support as Beaudesert and Logan rank third in country for heart disease deaths

HEALTH: Beaudesert and Logan combined have the third highest rate of heart disease deaths in Australia, data has revealed.
HEALTH: Beaudesert and Logan combined have the third highest rate of heart disease deaths in Australia, data has revealed.

BEAUDESERT and Logan combined have the third highest rate of heart disease deaths in Australia, new data released by the Heart Foundation has revealed.

The regions, combined in the study, also rank 11th in the nation for most heart-related hospitalisations.

Queensland is home to eight of the country's 20 worst heart disease hotspots, with only the outback considered worse than Beaudesert and Logan for cardiovascular disease deaths across the state.

The sobering statistics have prompted the Heart Foundation to call on the next state government to throw its support behind heart health initiatives.

Among other things, they want improved cardiac services for regional Queensland and access for all to cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Beaudesert doctor Alex Oram said heart disease was an area of concern for all general practitioners given its standing as the biggest killer in Australia.

"Everyone has the potential to develop heart disease," he said. "When we talk about heart disease, we have modifiable and non-modifiable risks, such as age and gender.

"There are lots of things that can be changed to decrease someone's risk of developing heart disease.

"These include blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and what your habits are around smoking and consuming alcohol."

Dr Oram encouraged people to get regular check ups at their GP, even if they had not experienced heart problems.

"Your risk can be easily calculated by seeing your GP," he said. "The earlier those risks are detected, the earlier they can be managed.

"I would encourage people, even those without symptoms, to see their GP and discuss things like blood pressure and cholesterol.

"The people we particularly screen for would be those who smoke, those with a family history of heart disease, and those with other health conditions like diabetes."

A lack of access to health services in rural areas was a contributing factor to high rates of heart disease like those observed in Beaudesert and Logan.

"Looking at the statistics, outback Queensland is even higher with a rank of two in the nation," Dr Oram said.

"That shows there is a correlation between distance from tertiary health facilities that have access to specialist cardiac testing and an increase in heart-related deaths."

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