We've joined forces with the Heart Foundation to help our members, and Australian women everywhere, improve their heart health
“Heart disease directly accounts for the deaths of about 22 women each day in Australia, and many women are not aware that they are at risk from this silent killer,” says Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.
Together, we want to encourage women to better understand the warning signs of a heart attack and get regular heart health checks with their doctor.
“As an industry super fund, we’re obviously focused on the financial wellbeing of our members in retirement but it’s much bigger than that,” HESTA CEO Debby Blakey says. "It’s really important to also focus on their physical wellbeing and our members being fit, healthy and well in retirement.
“So, when we heard about the tragic statistics around women and heart disease we were shocked, as I’m sure many people are. We saw an opportunity to have a real impact and hopefully help save lives.”
Prof Kelly says working with HESTA provides an opportunity to reach more women right around Australia.
“HESTA can help us raise awareness with new audiences and in new ways. A significant number of HESTA members live and work in rural and regional areas, so we want to support them to improve their heart health and wellbeing, and encourage other women to do likewise,” he says.
Prof Kelly notes that heart disease is often seen as a predominantly male disease, with only 3 in 10 women recognising it as personally relevant.
“This perception has had a significant impact on heart health outcomes for women,” Prof Kelly says.
“Women often don’t recognise the warning signs of a heart attack and are generally slower to seek help. Subsequent delays in their diagnosis and treatment lead to worse survival and recovery rates compared to men.
“We also know that women are more likely to look after their loved ones’ health than their own. This is a belief we need to change, women can only look after others if they look after themselves first.”
The new relationship will also focus on reducing the impact of smoking and tobacco products on the health of Australians.