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Heart Foundation offers free pulse checks

The Heart Foundation is offering people the chance to get free pulse checks in 19 locations throughout New Zealand, during the week of 16-24 November 2020, as part of its atrial fibrillation awareness campaign.

The condition is an irregular heart rhythm, which can result in an increased risk of stroke and heart failure for some.

"The condition can strike adults at any age and we think nearly one in 35 New Zealanders between 35 and 74 have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, so that’s more than 60,000 Kiwis. It's also likely there are many more who don't know they have it, making it the most common type of heart rhythm disorder," says Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Gerry Devlin.

"Atrial fibrillation is more common as we age. On average Māori people are more affected and tend to develop atrial fibrillation 10 years younger than non-Māori."

But the condition can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnicity.

It can be very challenging for people living with atrial fibrillation and the Heart Foundation also runs support sessions to provide a warm, supportive environment that allows families to hear from experts and meet others who are living with the condition.

Free Heart Foundation pulse checks are being held throughout New Zealand and details of locations can be found on our pulse checks page.

How to check your pulse:

  • Place three fingers over the inside of your wrist, resting the fingers at the base of your thumb. Take time to feel the pulse under your fingers.
  • Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
  • Double the number of beats you counted and that is your heart rate per minute.

Most people's heart beats regularly and is between 60 and 100 beats per minute when resting. An irregular pulse is when the heart doesn't beat in a regular fashion.

See your doctor if you notice that:

  • Your pulse seems irregular or seems to be 'jumping around'.

Self check: take your own pulse. Find your pulse, Count your heartbeat for 30 seconds, double it

Learn how to check your pulse