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Healthy choices, healthy heart – lessons from Multiply’s Healthy Heart Score

20 June 2022 Momentum Multiply

South Africa has one of the highest occurrences of high blood pressure globally. Cardiovascular disease is among the top three causes of death in South Africa and as cases continue to rise, continuous effort is needed to educate people about the risks and dangers of heart disease.

According to the 2021 Momentum Life Insurance claims statistics, 20% of death claims were caused by cardiovascular disease. As many health-conscious people know, a healthy heart is dependent on a healthy lifestyle. To assist South Africans on their journey to good heart health, Momentum Multiply’s Healthy Heart Score provides a window into a person’s heart health.

According to Marcia Eugenio, Head of Incentivised Wellness at Momentum Multiply, “Your Healthy Heart Score is a personalised indicator of your heart health. It shows your current heart health and if you’re doing anything now that is causing long-term damage to your heart.”

To provide its members with an accurate score, Momentum Multiply requires members to complete a health assessment, which is then used to calculate which category of heart health they fall into – i.e. green, amber or red.

Scores show that people aged 25 to 35 years old have the lowest risk in terms of their Healthy Heart Score, while individuals aged 45 to 49+ years have the highest risk.

Eugenio emphasises, “Protecting your health is an integral part of managing your finances. The Momentum Multiply health assessment is a simple, yet effective assessment that can identify individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease due to unhealthy lifestyle habits.”

Even though the Healthy Heart Score provides an interesting, if not expected, view of average heart health among South Africans, Eugenio says its formula provides some insight into what goes into a healthy heart. Momentum Multiply’s health assessment measures body composition (height, weight, and waist circumference), blood pressure, glucose (or HbA1c), cholesterol and smoking status to create its scoring.

Eugenio shares a few tips to help you on your journey to a healthy heart:

• Diet
Eat more fruits and vegetables. These contain vitamins and minerals that can help prevent heart disease. Try to also limit your red meat intake as the saturated fat found in animal meat increases cholesterol levels, which is bad for the heart.


• Exercise
Moving regularly makes your heart stronger, lowers blood pressure, and reduces your risk of heart disease. Get your heart pumping by working out for at least 30 minutes, three to four times a week.

• Alcohol
Moderation is key. Too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and fat levels in your heart. Try to limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day. It is best to have a few alcohol-free days during the week.

• Stress
Anxiety, depression, and worry can significantly increase your risk of developing heart problems. Manage financial stress by planning properly and getting help from a financial adviser. You can also beat workplace stress by exercising and applying relaxation techniques.

• Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, body, mind, and heart. Aim to sleep for a minimum of seven to eight hours a night. Try to not scroll mindlessly on your phone before bed as this keeps the mind active and limits your ability to fall asleep.

• Smoking
Smoking harms not just the heart but almost every organ in the body. Consider quitting smoking. You should limit your exposure to second-hand smoke as well.

Taking the right steps towards a healthier lifestyle will go a long way in drastically improving your health. Your heart depends on it, so we all need to work together to drive healthy behaviours in ourselves, our families and our communities.

“It is important to see your healthcare provider at least once per year for regular health screenings. They should test your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. Remember, as part of being a qualifying scheme member with Momentum Multiply you get one free health assessment a year at a Dis-Chem, Clicks, or any Multiply-affiliated pharmacy. This will also give you your Healthy Heart Score,” says Eugenio.

 

Quick Polls

QUESTION

We have watched with interest as each of the country’s large life insurers report their 2021 life claims statistics, with soaring claims and claims values. That got us thinking: how do the big life insurers compare against one another, from an IFA perspective?

ANSWER

An insurer is an insurer is an insurer
All are excellent: would not deal with them otherwise
There is one insurance brand that stands out for me
Tied agent: but my brand is the best out there
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