The Heart Foundation is urging Queenslanders with heart conditions to take extra care as the Sunshine State braces for sizzling conditions today.
Temperatures are forecast to climb into the late 30s and early 40s in some part of the state today, while fire warnings have been issued across central and southern Queensland.
People with heart disease taking medication for blood pressure or excess fluid, such as diuretics, are at higher risk of falling ill or having a heart attack during a heatwave.
Heart Foundation Queensland Heart Health Manager, Associate Professor Anna Lewis, says residents should prepare and think about how they will cope and look out for each other as temperatures soar.
“People with heart disease are at much higher risk in the extreme heat,” Assoc Prof Lewis said.
“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.”
Assoc Prof Lewis explained that as the temperature rises, the body responds 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 reduce 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 zero (000) if they need help.”
Heatwave health tips
- Look after yourself and keep in touch with others
- Drink plenty of water without waiting for thirst (if your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather)
- Keep cool – stay indoors or in an air-conditioned environment
- Reduce normal activity levels or pick a cooler time of day to be active