Monash Expert: Heart health in the heat

Monash University

With 2023 declared the hottest year on record, and heatwaves in Australia becoming more frequent, more intense, and longer-lasting, our health is at risk. Heatwaves contribute to an 11.7 per cent increase in cardiovascular disease related deaths.

Monash Victorian Heart Institute has prepared fact sheets for communities and health professionals that outline how to prepare for and deal with extreme heat. Tips include:


  • If you take medicines for a heart condition, your doctor might need to adjust them
  • Store medicines correctly in a dry or cool place
  • Limit the time spent outside when it’s hot; try to organise activities early in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Check on people who are isolated or might need help, especially if they have a heart condition or other chronic condition like diabetes
  • Ensure electric life-saving medical equipment is registered with your energy supplier.


  • Stay indoors and use an electric fan or air conditioner
  • Take a cool shower or bath, or sponge yourself with cool water
  • Put crushed ice in a towel and place it around your neck or on your chest
  • Keep your clothing wet by spraying yourself with cool water
  • When outside, stick to the shade where possible
  • Wear loose, light-coloured clothing
  • Reduce physical activity when it’s hot and take breaks often
  • Avoid being outdoors when the sun is at its strongest (about noon to 3pm)
  • Eat small easy to digest meals such as fruit, salads or sandwiches; avoid using hot appliances
  • Stay hydrated.
/Public Release.