Wearing red for heart health

There’s a distinct shade of red around at Mallee District Aboriginal Services this week.

And it's not just because of Valentine's Day!
It was also Wear Red Day on Thursday -- and staff at Mallee District Aboriginal Services are getting into the spirit of the Heart Research Australia awareness day.
“Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in Australia – but it’s also a disease that is largely affected by lifestyle,” said MDAS Allied Health Coordinator Crystal Kirby.
“We’ve got some fantastic programs getting underway that focus on lifestyle change, so we thought it was a great opportunity to raise some awareness and get community on-board.”
Heart disease is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that affect the heart, including: coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects a person is born with (congenital heart defects).
Ms Kirby said keeping your heart healthy, whatever your age, is the most important thing you can do to help prevent and manage heart disease.
She said MDAS had two eight-week programs getting underway to target heart health – a “Kicking Butts” quit smoking program and a “Road to Deadly Health” program for people living with chronic disease.
MDAS is also re-starting its weekly Heart Foundation walking group she said.
“By improving your lifestyle, including your diet and level of fitness, you can minimise your risk of getting cardiovascular disease,” Ms Kirby said.
Heart disease kills one Australian every 28 minutes and Heart Foundation research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 70% more likely to die from circulatory diseases.
Heart Health Australia’s Wear Red Day raises funds for research and everyone dressing in red at MDAS today is making a gold coin donation to the cause.
“The message we are trying to get out is that even if you have two or more risk factors, you can still make changes that will reduce your chances of developing heart problems,” Ms Kirby said.
Pictured: MDAS Allied Health Coordinator Crystal Kirby with ABC Mildura Swan Hill's Julie Reynolds

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