Ceduna hearts put to the test

CHECK: Ceduna mayor Perry Will and councillor Peter Codrington were among those to be checked by Heart Foundation volunteer and qualified health care professional Peter Lorimer. Picture: Luca Cetta
CHECK: Ceduna mayor Perry Will and councillor Peter Codrington were among those to be checked by Heart Foundation volunteer and qualified health care professional Peter Lorimer. Picture: Luca Cetta

The Heart Foundation visited Ceduna on Thursday to provide free blood pressure and cholesterol checks to the community.

The visit gave community members in a town with a higher rate of heart-related issues than the national average the chance to have a free check.

Heart Foundation team members were stationed at Ceduna Machinery as part of a statewide tour run in conjunction with Toyota.

According to the foundation's heart maps data, the rate of heart-related hospital admissions in Ceduna at 63 per 10,000 people was significantly higher than the national average of 48 per 10,000 people.

The Community Hearts Project has seen the Community Heart team travel to a number of locations across the state.

The project is designed to motivate people to visit their doctor for a comprehensive heart health check, with people aged 45 and above - 30 and above for Indigenous people - encouraged to be checked to determine their risk of heart disease and begin early intervention if needed.

Heart Foundation SA/NT chief executive officer Imelda Lynch said community members should get a check from their GP.

"The good news is that heart disease is largely preventable through management of risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol, not smoking, increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight," she said.

"We are encouraging the people of Ceduna to take action and improve the heart health of their community.

"The Community Hearts team will be measuring cholesterol and blood pressure, however, regardless of what the results show, everyone will still be encouraged to make that all-important appointment with their GP."

Heart Foundation research and translation Manager Natasha Schranz said they were pleased with the response from the Ceduna community.

"We have travelled around South Australia and it has been great to visit these communities," she said.

"We have over 20 people being checked out in Ceduna and we're fitting in some staff too, but (Ceduna Machinery) did a great job in getting the word out there."

Among those to get a check-up was Ceduna mayor Perry Will.

He said given the data on Ceduna, he was pleased by the visit of the Community Hearts team.

"We are grateful for this opportunity for residents across Ceduna to have their blood pressure and cholesterol measured," he said.

"I would hope that this initiative by the Heart Foundation in South Australia will inspire the community to visit their GP for the comprehensive heart health check."