29 June, 2021
Mackay a heartbreaker
THE latest data from the Heart Foundation targets Mackay as Queensland’s unhealthy heart hot spot, with a mortality rate of 76 per 100,000 people.
This statistic is 16 percent
higher than the national average
of 66 per 1000,000 people, with
Mackay ranked higher for several
heart disease risk factors.
Heart Foundation Queensland
heart health manager and associate professor Anna Lewis said
high rates of heart disease deaths,
hospitalisations and risk factors
were found in disadvantaged regional Queensland groups.
She said heart health can be influenced by factors such as education, employment, adequate housing and access to health services,
decent food and exercise.
“There are usually no obvious
signs or symptoms that you have
it, but it increases your risks of
heart attack and stroke,” she said.
“It can also lead to developing
heart disease and other chronic
illnesses like type two diabetes.”
The data shows 23 percent of Mackay residents have high blood pressure, while 72 percent are physically inactive. Eighteen 18 percent smoke and 37 percent are obese.
The data revealed heart-related hospital admissions is 59 per
10,000 people, which is
significantly higher than
the national average of 43
One indicator for poor heart health is high cholesterol, which is described as a silent killer among Queenslanders and can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
A risk of high cholesterol and
poor heart health can be lowered
by swapping saturated fats for
healthier fats like nuts and plant-
“Foods fortified with plant sterols, like some breakfast cereals, can also assist in lowering cholesterol levels,” Ms Lewis said.
“For people with high cholesterol or heart disease, we recommend choosing reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese and eating fewer than seven eggs per week.
“It’s also important for heart
health to quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and maintain a healthy-
“Get the heart pumping by being active at least 30 minutes most
days as it can help control your
Mackay residents aged 45 or over were urged to talk to a General Practitioner (GP) about their heart health, while indigenous Australians aged over 30 should see their GP.