Keeping your heart healthy is key to avoiding heart disease – the biggest killer in the UK. The best way to do this is to eat a healthy diet, not to smoke and to get regular exercise.
Coronary heart disease (CHD)
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK’s single biggest killer and is responsible for around 73,000 deaths each year. About 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women will die from CHD.
For tips and information about CHD and how to avoid it go to the British Heart Foundation website: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/preventing-heart-disease
NHS Choices also has information here.
A stroke is a ‘brain attack’ caused by a disturbance of the blood supply to the brain, which can lead to permanent brain damage.
Why you must Act F.A.S.T.
A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. So recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial.
F.A.S.T stands for:
Face: has their face fallen on one side?
Arms: can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech: is their speech slurred?
Time: time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.
The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery. The risk of having a stroke is higher amongst people from certain ethnic groups, including South Asian, African and Caribbean due to more incidents of high blood pressure and diabetes.
For more information click here
High cholesterol is a risk factor for CHD, heart attacks and strokes. Causes of high cholesterol include saturated fat, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.
For information about high cholesterol from the British Heart Foundation click here
For information from NHS Choices click here.
People from certain ethnic backgrounds are more at risk of having a stroke, heart disease or heart attack. The British Heart Foundation has more information here
Reducing Risk Factors
By avoiding the lifestyle factors below you can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke:
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
- Exceeding the recommended daily alcohol limit. (The NHS recommends women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day and men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day).
The British Heart Foundation has information on preventing heart disease here
NHS Choices has information on improving your health numbers here