Fit and healthy mum shocked by test results
KATE Bennie feels like she dodged a bullet.
The 40-year-old from Boonah was shocked when she received test results that showed her levels of cholesterol and triglyceride, a type of fat in the blood, were at a dangerously high level.
She had no symptoms of heart disease, was underweight and physically active.
Even the doctors she visited were shocked when they looked at the results for the person sitting in front of them.
"Just a few months before I got the results, I had run a half marathon," she said.
Ms Bennie has a history of heart disease in the family and her uncle died at the age of 41 from his third heart attack.
The revelation sent a shiver down her spine.
Before her tests, her diet was high in sugars and processed carbohydrates and although she looked perfectly healthy from the outside, it was a different story on the inside.
"I could have had a heart attack and dropped dead," she said.
"I could eat rubbish and get away with it. I could basically eat whatever I wanted and not put on weight."
There are many around the country just like her but who might not have the slightest idea they are at risk.
Ms Bennie said she was lucky she found out when she did so she could make changes to her lifestyle to set her down a healthier path.
Heart disease is Australia's biggest killer, taking out 51 people every day and it is particular problem for Ipswich.
Our rate of heart-related hospital admissions of 75 per 10,000 people is significantly higher than the national average of 48 per 10,000 people.
The city's heart disease mortality rate of 87 per 100,000 people also sits above the national average of 68 per 100,000 people.
One person in Ipswich dies from heart disease every two days.
Since the initial tests last year, Ms Bennie has cut out most of her bad habits and added a few good ones.
She will always have to monitor her cholesterol and triglyceride and will head back for more testing soon.
"If you've got a diet that's high in processed food, even if you don't put on much weight, it's worth getting checked - just for peace of mind," she said.
"Don't wait until you've had a heart attack. Don't presume that because you're not overweight that you're healthy.
"You can't always see the damage being done from what you're putting in your mouth.
"You don't have to be old or overweight to have heart disease."