The new year has brought in scorching temperatures to Australia, with the National Heart Foundation of Australia today (January 4) issuing a warning for those with heart disease to take "extra care" this week.
There is a higher risk for people with heart disease – and those who take medication for blood pressure – of falling ill, suffering a heart attack or dying during a heatwave.
An increase in heart attacks and deaths caused by heart attacks during heatwaves was shown in recent research from the Queensland University of Technology.
"People most at risk are those with a chronic disease, such as heart disease, as well as older people, children, people taking certain types of medicines, and people engaged in strenuous outdoor activity or physical labour," said the Heart Foundation's director of cardiovascular health Dr Robert Grenfell.
Dr Grenfell said people who are in these high risk groups should take care during a heatwave and consult with their GP on the ways to manage their condition.
The Heart Foundation says that in Australia heatwaves take more lives than any other natural hazard, so it may be worth considering getting private health insurance to ensure you get the appropriate treatment and care.
You can look after the needs of your loved ones by getting set up with family health insurance.