Upset stressed older woman feeling heartache
Upset stressed older woman feeling heartache

Summer from hell: Heart Foundation’s shock warning

WITH Central Queensland set to be exposed to harsh summer heat earlier than expected this year, the Heart Foundation has issued a health alert.

Heart Foundation Queensland Heart Health manager, Associate Professor Anna Lewis said people with heart disease taking medication for blood pressure or excess fluid, such as diuretics, were at higher risk of falling ill or having a heart attack during a heatwave.

"Residents should prepare and think about how they will cope and look out for each other as temperatures soar," Professor Lewis said.

"People with heart disease are at much higher risk in the extreme heat.

"Heatwaves also take a particular toll on the health of our elderly relatives and friends, and I would urge Queenslanders to be vigilant about looking out for them during these hotter days."

Professor Lewis explained that as the temperature rose, the body responded to try and balance with the heat by increasing blood flow to the skin and by sweating.

"Sweating leads to dehydration, which reduces the volume of blood. This makes the heart pump harder to circulate the reduced amount of blood around the body," she said.

"For people with heart disease and those who are at high risk of a heart attack, these changes can overwhelm the heart and could even result in a heart attack.

"It's really important people know the warning signs of a heart attack, and act quickly to call triple-0 (000) if they need help."

With temperatures forecast to climb into the late 30s and early 40s in some parts of the state today and for the rest of the week, fire warnings have also been put in place throughout CQ.

The Heart Foundation's 'Heatwave Healthy' tips included looking after yourself and keeping in touch with others, drinking plenty of water without waiting for thirst, keeping cool and reducing normal activity levels or picking a cooler time of the day to be active.


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