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Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is welcoming the return of a campaign which tells people how to identify the signs of a possible heart attack.

The Heart Foundation campaign includes an award-winning TV commercial which shows people acting out what people often expect a heart attack to look like, while another person is quietly experiencing actual symptoms.

“Heart disease is New Zealand's biggest killer, it’s responsible for more than 6,000 deaths a year or around 16 deaths a day,” says Dr Coleman.

“A recent survey from the Heart Foundation found our awareness around heart attack symptoms is fairly low, with almost 80 per cent unable to identify all the major signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

“The survey also found that over 40 per cent of us would hesitate to call 111 if we were suffering the symptoms of a heart attack.

“The return of this successful awareness campaign should help further educate people about both the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and the need to act quickly.”

Symptoms of a heart attack include prolonged discomfort or pain, frequently in the chest, but occasionally in the jaw, neck or arms. Associated symptoms may include nausea, breathlessness and excessive sweating.

The Heart Foundation’s Heart Attack Awareness campaign will run from today until the end of the month, with support from the Ministry of Health and the Milestone Foundation.

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