Revealed: Penrith’s heart health crisis

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The Heart Foundation has released new data that reveals Penrith is a hot spot when it comes to life-threatening heart issues.

The Outer West and Blue Mountains region, which includes the Penrith Local Government Area, has been ranked third highest in the state for rates of deaths from coronary heart disease, and the highest rate in metro Sydney.

The Heart Foundation NSW and ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn, said this rate being 29 per cent above the state average is a concern.

“People living in the Penrith area are dying from coronary heart disease at a rate that is higher than those in other parts of NSW and Sydney, for example the region’s rate is about 1.8 times higher than that of the North Sydney and Hornsby region,” she said.

“This is a concern for those living in Penrith and surrounding areas, but the good news is that heart disease is largely preventable and there is a lot people can do to reduce their risk.”

Residents from Penrith are also reported to be above the national average for physical inactivity, smoking and obesity, but Ms Flynn said everyone needs to improve on their health.

“The Heart Foundation would like all Australians to take action to reduce these risk factors because even in areas where the rates are below the state or national average, we think they are still too high,” she said.

“Right across NSW, around one in five adults have high blood pressure so yes, people in Penrith need to work on this, but so does everyone and tackling these risk factors is a key way to reduce heart disease in the community.”

With the statistics being a part of the latest update to the Heart Foundation’s Australian Heart Maps, Ms Flynn said the message is clear.

“Our Heart Maps show there is a great divide in heart health across some communities and they also highlight areas in greatest need of heart health services and investment,” she said.

“Our message to Penrith residents would be to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, go to your GP for a Heart Health Check and if you think you are having a heart attack, call Triple Zero without delay.”

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