Heart Disease Happens Decades Before a Heart Attack

01 Jun 2024

Coastrek Ambassador, Kate Wildermuth-Watt wears many hats.  She is a dedicated Public Health Professional and advocate for women’s health, a former Channel 7 Weekender presenter, a passionate amateur cook who reached the finals of MKR.  With a family history of heart disease she’s now in training for her second Coastrek on the Sunshine Coast.

Kate shares her family history with heart disease and how a recent Heart Health Check led to getting involved with Coastrek as part of a renewed focus on lifestyle health habits:  

“Sadly, like millions of Australians, heart disease is in my family history.  My Grandmother died of a heart attack and my Dad, after being diagnosed with dangerously high cholesterol levels, was put on statins to manage and prevent further decline.  

As I approached my 40th birthday I felt it was timely, especially given this history, to get a heart health check done.  After all, when I’m not traversing the countryside as a presenter on Weekender, I work in public health, so it was time I practiced what I preach!

Heart disease happens decades before a heart attack, so this was the writing on the wall.  You guessed it – my cholesterol levels were high, hardly surprising given my family history, but it was still a shock.  If I didn’t want to face a lifetime of being on medication, I needed to make some lifestyle changes.  This is where Coastrek comes in…  

Move more, lose weight – that was the number one treatment I was advised to follow.  Since training for Coastrek, I’ve gone from having high cholesterol and feeling lethargic to being super energised and very motivated to complete the 30km hike this July! I can't wait.  Many of these walks have been with my 1-year-old daughter strapped to my back – she loves it, and I know I’m introducing healthy habits with her early and showing her how important it is to prioritise exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

And my Dad will be hiking right alongside me in my team ‘Wild at Heart’ – both of us holding our Grandmother’s memory close to our hearts.”