Health Information

 In Health Information


  • Every 90 minutes one New Zealander dies of heart disease.
  • Or that every three hours, one Kiwi dies from a preventable illness
  • Or that more than 200,000 Kiwis have trouble breathing because of what’s called COPD?
  • Or four in five New Zealand adults (aged 15 years or more) have experienced mental distress either personally or among people they know.

In general, New Zealand men live on average four years less than women, and yet still remain much less likely to talk to a GP about their health. Maori and Pacific men have even shorter expected life spans

And we’re not in great shape really: 6 out of 10 New Zealand males are overweight, nearly one in four of us smoke (again, much higher for Maori men and women) and 40 of us are diagnosed each day with diabetes.

We need to take more responsibility for our own health, and the health, physical and mental, of our mates.

New Zealand’s biggest killer

Heart disease is the biggest killer in New Zealand, and accounts for one third of all deaths each year.

Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death, followed by strokes which happen when an artery in the brain is blocked or leaks. Strokes are the largest cause of disability in adults in New Zealand.

Latest research shows that men are at greater risk of stroke than women, and that more than 170,000 Kiwis live with heart disease every day.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation has some simple messages for Men’s Health Week:

  • A heart attack is a life-threatening medical emergency. People need to be aware of the symptoms and call 111 immediately;
  • Symptoms can include: chest discomfort lasting 10 minutes or more; pain that spreads to the jaw, shoulders or back; excessive sweating; shortness of breath; and nausea.
  • Anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should immediately stop what they are doing and call 111 for an ambulance or ask someone to do it for them.
  • Any delay in calling an ambulance can increase the risk of death or permanent damage to the heart. Staunching it out won’t cure you.
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