Victor Chang Heart Health Check specialist providing a heart check

Victor Chang Heart Health Check

Victor Chang Heart Health Check team at NSW Parliament

17 October 2023

Around 80 NSW MPs, staffers and the Minister for Health Ryan Park underwent Victor Chang Heart Health Checks to highlight the importance of Australia’s biggest killer.

Professor Jason Kovacic, Claire Lennon, Ryan Park MP and Chris Minol

The Institute’s specialist team performed blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol tests in NSW Parliament House.

Minister Park, whose results were all in the healthy range, praised the Victor Chang Heart Health Check service and the world-leading work being carried out by the Institute’s scientists.

"Heart disease, as we well know, is the leading cause of death in Australia. Simple initiatives like this one by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute are an ideal opportunity for early intervention – and they are literally saving lives," Mr Park said.

"The heart health check is really easy and it takes just 10 minutes and included tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

"Picking up on problems early means you and your doctor can better manage and prevent other health issues from occurring further down the line.

"Nearly 40 per cent of the disease burden in Australia is due to risk factors such as the ones being measured in heart health checks."

"Anyone looking for check-up on their heart health can book in with their GP for a heart health check, who will help you better understand your risk of a heart attack or stroke and support you to lower this risk."

CEO and Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Professor Jason Kovacic, said the good news is that all three of these early indicators of possible heart disease can be changed by making improvements to your lifestyle.

"Making even small positive changes to your lifestyle, including your diet and activity levels can make a big difference to these risk factors and a person's overall heart health," Professor Kovacic said.

"The results of the test are presented to the person and if any measure is outside the normal range, they are recommended to make an appointment to see their GP."

Chris Minol, 49, also reminded people of just how critical a heart health check could be. Five years ago Chris underwent heart surgery after it was found he had major blockages in three of his arteries.

He had been paying close attention to his heart health after a routine heart health check picked up some issues and he was referred to a cardiologist where he placed on medication and underwent lifestyle changes. It was a move he says saved his life.

Chris told Minister Park that he never expected to heart disease to impact him so young. “It can happen to anyone and is not a disease that just affects the old. If I had not got a heart health check, I would have never have known I was at risk or been referred to a specialist.”

Chris, who lost a close friend to sudden cardiac death in 2017 after playing soccer, now raises funds for Heartbeat of Football. The PE teacher from Paramatta also ensures his pupils are fully aware of the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years