Next month is Women’s Heart Health Awareness Month.

Heart disease is the biggest killer of women in New Zealand. It claims more than 3,000 of our mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmothers every year.

Over 75,000 women are living with heart disease in New Zealand and more than 50 Kiwi women lose their battle with heart disease every week, and what’s worse is that most of these deaths are premature and preventable.

Many people are simply not aware of this tragic statistic, partly because heart disease is often seen as being a ‘man’s disease’. This means many women are unaware of the risk factors for heart disease and less likely to recognise the signs of a heart attack. Women are also slower to seek medical attention, meaning they are more at risk of permanently damaging their heart, or of dying.

The good news is there are things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. Such as stop smoking, make heart healthy eating and drinking choices, move more, lose weight and take your medications.

Our Manaaki Manawa (Cardiac Rehabilitation) team provide “one- on- one” support for all patients who have had a heart attack, heart surgery, or who have heart disease.

Our cardiac registered nurse Sarah Williams and kaiawhina Abigail Larsen, run a 4-week programme which includes advice and support on risk factors, heart health, stress management, medications and nutrition and exercise. Free information and education classes for people with cardiac health issues. These classes are held every Wednesday from 10am-12pm at Te Hiku Hauora. Weekly classes are rotated every four weeks to educate and share experiences on these health topics. This programme can be delivered in your home, marae or community setting. They also provide health screening for all persons who may be at risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease. The classes will start again from the 3rd May through till 1st November.

For more information please contact Manaaki Manawa at Te Hiku Hauora Ph 408 4024.