Business Summary
We fund lifesaving heart research, and work to improve heart disease prevention and care for all Australians
About Us

We're fighting the single biggest killer of Australians - heart disease.

The Heart Foundation is a charity dedicated to fighting the single biggest killer of Australians - heart disease. For over 50 years, we’ve led the battle to save lives and improve the heart health of all Australians. Our sights are set on a world where people don’t suffer or die prematurely because of heart disease.

We fund life - saving heart research, and work to improve heart disease prevention and care for all Australians.

Right now, 1.4 million Australians are living with heart disease, and each year more than 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. We're out to change that.

The Heart Foundation is dedicated to making a real difference to the heart health of Australians. Every day, our work includes:

  • Funding world - class cardiovascular research
  • Guiding health professionals on preventing and treating heart disease
  • Educating Australians about making healthy choices
  • Supporting people living with heart conditions
  • Advocating to government and industry to improve heart health in Australia
What We Do

Your Heart

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood around your body. It can beat up to 100,000 times a day - that’s up to 3 billion heartbeats during an average lifetime.

Knowing your risks is the first step to avoiding a heart attack or stroke.

Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australians, but it can mostly be prevented. There’s no one cause for heart disease, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing it. The more risk factors you have, the bigger your risk is of a heart attack/stroke.

You might not know you have some of these risk factors. The best way to find out your overall risk is to see your doctor or health practitioner for a heart health check. If you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, read more about looking after yourself to avoid another.

I’ve lost motivation. What should I do?
It can be hard to stay motivated, but there are things you can do help keep yourself on track. First, make sure you keep taking your medicines as prescribed. Book a follow up appointment with your doctor to ask any questions you have or discuss areas you may be struggling with. Having a recovery plan can help you get motivated. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol at safe levels is important, to reduce your risk of another heart event.
What happened to me?
A heart attack happens when there is a sudden and complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to your heart. Knowing more about what happened can help you recover.
What can I do to help myself recover?
During this difficult time, you can help yourself get better by following these important steps: Follow up with your doctor regularly. Take your medicines as prescribed. Attend cardiac rehabilitation. Take care of your emotional wellbeing. Understand what increases the risk of a heart attack. Taking actions like these can put you in control, help your recovery and reduce the risk of you having another heart attack.
How can I get back to living a normal life?
Setting goals for your emotional and physical health is an important part of your recovery. Planning lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, increased exercise, eating healthily, and looking after your emotions, can enable you to return to normal life sooner. Your doctor and cardiac rehabilitation team can help guide you. They can advise you when you can return to different activities.
I’m struggling emotionally. What should I do?
Experiencing a heart attack is stressful and you might still have lots of unanswered questions. You may be unsure about the treatments you had and be worried about having another heart attack. These feelings can make it hard to reconnect with people, whether it’s with family, friends or co-workers. It’s important to seek help if you feel scared and anxious, depressed or angry.
What if it happens again and I’m alone?
Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you think you are having a heart attack. Don’t wait to call because every minute counts. The sooner you call for an ambulance, the better your chance for survival. If you have had a heart attack, you are at greater risk of having another one. Recognising symptoms of heart attack and acting quickly by calling Triple Zero (000) will help reduce damage to your heart and save your life.
How should I be tracking after a few months?
Setting or resetting your goals is a good way to help keep you on track and support your recovery. If you haven’t attended cardiac rehabilitation, speak to your doctor about how to access a program. Regular follow ups with your doctor and staying on your medication is also very important. At this stage, you could have returned to work, and be driving and travelling again. It’s important to set goals for yourself so that you keep improving.
How can I connect with others who understand what I have been through?
Attending cardiac rehabilitation and joining walking or peer support groups gives you the chance to connect with other heart attack survivors.
What ongoing follow up do I need?
Regular follow-ups with your doctor and cardiologist are important. Following their advice will help keep your recovery on track. You can also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your medicines. Make sure you keep taking your medicines, even if you start to feel better, because they’re a vital part of your recovery. Remember, you are in charge of managing your health and day-to-day recovery.
How can I improve my exercise and eating habits?
Eating healthily and keeping active is important for your heart health. Cut out unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, and replace them with healthier fats. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet will help too. Cutting down on processed foods and increasing your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables will help keep your heart healthy. When it comes to fitness, you should exercise after a heart attack, but you’ll need to start slowly and work with your doctor to plan an exercise routine.
I’ve got more questions. Who can I ask?
This can be a stressful time. You may feel anxious or confused and have lots of questions about recovery. Talk to a doctor or someone close to you about how you are feeling. And remember, there are many support services that can help you during this difficult time. Their doctor can also help if you have questions about emotional and physical health, managing symptoms and making lifestyle changes.
Notable Achievements
Ross Hohnen Award for Research Excellence