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Rise in heart disease coincides with biggest ever collection

As the latest statistics show more Kiwis are being touched by heart disease, a record number of New Zealanders will be out on the streets this Friday and Saturday, collecting donations for the Heart Foundation to fund more heart research and training.

The Heart Foundation’s Big Heart Appeal street collection is set to be the largest in the organisation’s 50-year history.

More than 186,000 New Zealanders now live with heart disease, according to the New Zealand Health Survey1, 8 per cent more than the 172,000 reported the previous year. This represents the biggest increase in 10 years.

Heart Foundation Medical Director Gerry Devlin says that while the incidence of heart disease does increase as we age, it is not uncommon today to see people with significant heart problems in their 40s and 50s, or even younger.

“Most of us have someone we love who is affected by heart disease in some way – it is still our nation’s single biggest killer responsible for more than 6000 deaths every year,” says Devlin.

“With younger age groups being affected, research is needed now, more than ever, to address the situation. While the Heart Foundation invests more than $3 million into research grants and training every year, we receive many worthwhile funding requests that we are simply unable to support.

“We urgently need more big-hearted Kiwis to donate so we can fund more vital research programmes to save the lives of our loved ones.”

In some locations, the number of volunteers registered to collect for the charity have nearly tripled compared to 2017 figures. Overall, throughout New Zealand volunteer numbers have increased by approximately 25 per cent on last year.


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