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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    At what age does cardiovascular disease commonly strike?

    There is a history of heart disease in my family and I am soon turning 40. What is the usual age that symptoms of heart disease begin? Is it too late for me to start improving my health to prevent heart disease happening to me? I don’t want to get sick!
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    Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, … View Profile

    Cardiovascular disease traditionally strikes from middle age onwards, however it is occurring earlier and earlier because of rising rates of obesity and the metabolic syndrome which increase the risk. At age 40 it is not too late to improve your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk. Your first port of call should be your GP to have your risk assessed. To do this he/she will measure your cholesterol levels (in fact a full blood lipid profile), blood sugar levels, blood pressure, waist etc. This will give you a good idea of what risk factors you need to work on in particular. It is highly protective to avoid weight gain, enjoy a heart-healthy diet and be physically active on a regular basis (and this reduces your risk of other chronic diseases as well). If you need specific advice about diet and lifestyle, see an Accredited Practising Dietitian (you can find one near you at or read my book Eat to Beat Cholesterol available at
    Your future health and wellbeing is very much in your hands and improving your lifestyle will reward you straight away because you'll feel so much better in body and mind.

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