Cardiac rehab centre gets hearts ticking as they should

Cardiac Rehab's exercise physiologist Kathryn Kirchner and course participant Les Mayfield.
Cardiac Rehab's exercise physiologist Kathryn Kirchner and course participant Les Mayfield. Tom Huntley

GLADSTONE'S new heart health centre at Gladstone Community Health is getting plenty of business, with about 20 referrals each month.

At nearly 250 referrals a year, the figure sets alarm bells ringing for exercise physiologist Kathryn Kirchner.

She said studies showed cardiac rehabilitation clinics made a difference in recovery following a heart disease, and could act as a prevention to those at risk.

The clinic uses exercise and education sessions to help people self-manage their chronic disease.

"We get them active and educate them about their diet," Ms Kirchner said.

She said the most common diseases she encountered in Gladstone were heart attack, bypass or someone recovering from having a stent inserted into their heart.

They also treat people who seem to be going down the path of having a heart attack.

"This can be caused by physical inactivity, poor diet, stress, and family history is pretty common too."

The clinic runs for eight weeks and has a limit of eight people per group.

"We have nice small groups to give people more one on one supervision," Ms Kirchner said.

"It's great to see everybody interact together and make the changes which will make them healthy."

Les Mayfield suffered a heart attack on March 18.

"I think to be able to talk to people who have experienced it too is really good," Mr Mayfield said.

"You get kicked out of hospital and living out of town we don't have too much available."

Mr Mayfield said he would recommend the clinic to anyone who had been given the opportunity to be involved in it.

This week is Heart Week, promoting the importance of looking after heart health.


Risk factors for heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol and pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight
  • Social isolation

Topics:  health heart disease heart health

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