Locals are being urged to take advantage of newly available Medicare-funded heart checks, with statistics revealing a third of locals are considered obese.
Locals are being urged to take advantage of newly available Medicare-funded heart checks, with statistics revealing a third of locals are considered obese. Kevin Farmer

Local obesity rates a cause for concern, figures reveal

ONLY just over a quarter of residents living in Coffs Harbour and Grafton are getting enough exercise to avoid heart disease, with more than one in three considered obese.

According to statistics released by the Heart Foundation this week, 71 out of every 100,000 people die from heart disease in the Coffs Harbour to Grafton region, which is higher than the state average.

Around 36 per cent of the population is obese, placing the region in the top 10 for obesity rates.

Around 20 per cent of residents smoke,18 per cent have high blood pressure and 32 per cent have high cholesterol - all factors which contribute to the risk of heart disease.

The Heart Foundation Australia is urging locals to visit their doctor for a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check in light of Heart Week (April 28 - May 4).

"Heart disease is the single biggest killer in NSW, yet we know that many heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by managing key risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol and other lifestyle choice,” Heart Foundation CEO NSW Kerry Doyle said.

The Heart Foundation spearheaded the introduction of a Heart Health Check covered by Medicare which became available on April 1.

Australians aged 45 years and over, and Indigenous Australians aged 30 years and over can see their GP for a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check to understand their risk of heart attack and stroke in the next five years.

THE STATS FOR COFFS-GRAFTON:

- 71 out of 100,000 die from heart disease, compared to the state average of 68.

- The regions ranks 9th out of 92 for obesity rates.

- 19.5 per cent of residents smoke.

- 18 per cent have high blood pressure.

- 70.5 per cent are not physically active enough.

- Approximately 36 per cent are obese.

- 32 per cent have high cholesterol.