Common health issues

Some health issues become more common with age. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health, as early detection is often crucial to treatment. Look after yourself by staying healthy so you can lead a full and active life.

Heart attack

If you think you could be having a heart attack call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

If you call from a mobile phone and Triple Zero (000) doesn’t work, phone 112.

Warning signs include:

  • pain in the centre of the chest behind the breastbone lasting for 10 minutes or more
  • pain in the arms, shoulders, neck and jaw
  • sudden collapse without pain.

It is better to call an ambulance and find out it is a false alarm than to ignore the signs.

Learn more on the Heart Foundation website.


There are over 200 types of cancer, which occur when cells in your body grow abnormally. Cancer can affect most areas of your body.

Most types of cancer become more common as you get older, but you can prevent some by avoiding risk factors such as smoking and heavy drinking, and by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Participating in Queensland’s cancer screening programs can detect breast cancer early and help prevent cervical and bowel cancer:

  • The BreastScreen Queensland Program provides free breast cancer screening and assessment services at more than 260 sites across Queensland. If you are aged between 50 and 74, you are strongly encouraged to have a free breastscreen every 2 years. If you’re in your 40s or 75 and over, you’re also eligible to participate. A 2-yearly breast screen is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early and provide the best possible treatment outcome.
  • The National Cervical Screening Program encourages women aged 25 to 74 years who have ever been sexually active to have regular Cervical Screening Tests.
  • The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program encourages men and women aged 50 to 74 years who are sent a faecal occult blood test kit in the mail to participate in bowel cancer screening.

For information, resources and support visit:


Your risk of developing diabetes increases with age. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition. It occurs when the level of glucose in your blood is too high due to your body producing a reduced amount of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is highly preventable and is often brought on by a lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet. So while you can’t change your age or family history, you can reduce your risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Heat related illness

Older people are more susceptible to heat related illnesses such as heat stress. During a heat wave, ensure that you stay cool and hydrated. Stay safe in the sun, and be aware of the symptoms and treatments for heat-related illnesses.