Why Should I Have a Regular Heart Check?
NOTE: This Department of Corrections resource cannot be ordered from this website. All men’s prisons throughout New Zealand received hard copies of this resource in July 2013.
Look after your heart. Have a regular heart check.
- If you’re a man over 45 or a woman over 55, have a regular heart check.
- If you’re Māori, Pasifika or Indo-Asian, start having a regular heart check ten years earlier (35 for men and 45 for women).
- If you have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors, start having a regular heart check ten years earlier (35 for men and 45 for women).
Find out more
Put in a health request form (health chit) to talk to a corrections nurse from your health centre.
Why should I have a regular heart check?
Corrections Officer: Hey, Steve, now you are over 35, it’s a good time to start getting a regular heart check.
Prisoner (Steve): What do you mean heart check?
Corrections Officer: Getting regular check-ups from the nurses to see if you’re at risk of having a heart attack. You should do it Steve.
Prisoner: Really? There is nothing wrong with me.
Corrections Officer: Yeah, but your heart could still be in trouble, even if you feel OK. You are Māori and over 35, so you should get it checked. Just fill in a health request form, and the nurse will talk to you about it.
Prisoner: I don’t want the nurses mucking around with blood tests and stuff.
Corrections Officer: The tests are only to check the health of your heart. Not for anything else. You need to get checked. You could be at risk of having a heart attack.
A FEW WEEKS LATER
Nurse: It’s good you put in that health request form, Steve. Now we know you are at high risk of having a heart attack.
Prisoner: So, what can we do?
Nurse: We can keep an eye on your blood pressure, do regular blood tests, and help you look after your heart. Just as well you had to give up smoking! That’s really positive, and one less thing to worry about.
Prisoner: I want to be around for my family. I’m making changes to look after my heart, and I’m going to have a regular heart check.
Department of Corrections, June 2013.