A heart attack or stroke is usually quite sudden. However, the changes in your arteries that lead to a heart attack or stroke take place over a long period of time. Most heart attacks and strokes are preventable - this is why it is important to learn what leads to a heart attack or stroke, because it will help you to understand why making lifestyle changes is so important. Knowing your personal risk of developing cardiovascular disease is also essential in order for you to reduce your risk.
Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke can range from mild to very high, based on your risk factors. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Your doctor or nurse can assess your risk factors and estimate your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next five years.
You can check how healthy your heart is by visiting www.knowyournumbers.co.nz.
If you do not have the information you need to find out your 'number' or you would like help to reduce your risk of heart problems, visit your doctor or nurse who can work with you towards improving the health of your heart.