Dr Tamara Hunter on Heart Attacks and Keeping your Heart Healthy

Tamara HunterChannel 9

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body and did you know that less sleep you have, the greater the risk of a heart attack? In this video, Dr Hunter discusses how a lack of sleep and other factors can impact your heart health, and what you can be doing ensure you have good heart health.

A heart attack is also known as an Acute Myocardial Infarction and is a life-threatening event. It happens because the blood vessel that supplies the heart itself gets blocked, meaning there is a lack of oxygen, impairing its ability to function properly.

According to Dr Hunter, around 400,000 Australians have been affected by heart attacks, some 53 – 54, 000 Australians each year are having heart attacks (that works out to be around 1 every 10 minutes) and 23 Australians a day lose their lives due to heart attack, therefore, it is important to ensure you are doing everything you can to maintain a healthy heart.

There are common risk factors when it comes to heart attacks. According to Dr Hunter, the most well known include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight or obese, alcohol and smoking. However, there are lesser known contributing factors. These include less than 6 hours a night of sleep, migraine suffers who have visual problems, high intake of high-fat meals and pollution exposure.

When it comes to ensuring you have a healthy heart Dr Hunter advises focussing on the preventable things. This could mean eating well, regular exercise, not smoking, reducing your alcohol and getting your blood pressure checked with your GP. Also being mindful of your family history is important. Those who are over the age of 40 should be getting a heart screen regardless of if you are male or female.