The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Heart health and cholesterol

Heart and diabetes check

A ‘heart and diabetes check’ is a health check where you and your doctor or nurse identify your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or developing diabetes over the next 5 years. Risks are things such as age, family history, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and being physically inactive. Some of these risk factors can't be changed, but there are others that you can decide to change.

In the past, your doctor may have treated each one of these things separately. A heart and diabetes check looks at all the risk factors together, a bit like putting all the pieces of a puzzle together so you can see the whole picture.

The result of a heart and diabetes check is like looking at the whole picture (estimated risk), rather than each piece (individual risk factor) of the puzzle on its own. You will then find out your estimated risk, which describes how much at risk you are of having a heart attack, stroke or developing diabetes over the next five years.

Cholesterol management

Although the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, when there is more cholesterol circulating in the blood than the body needs the cholesterol can build up on the artery walls. This eventually leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. This risk is increased when other risk factors such as high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease are also present.

Improving your heart health

You can improve your heart health by adopting a heart healthy diet, increasing your physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing your alcohol intake.

Your Doctor at The Fono can check the health of your heart and test your cholesterol levels. They can recommend changes to your lifestyle to help improve the health of your heart, and prescribe medicine when appropriate to lower your blood pressure or reduce your cholesterol levels.

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West Central