BHF Campaign to Raise Awareness of Heart Disease
According to new statistics released by the British Heart Foundation, the majority of over 55 year olds say they have family members with one of the major risk factors of heart disease. The charity is launching a Wear It. Beat It. campaign in early February to encourage awareness of the condition which is the UK’s single biggest killer and to get people talking about it with their families and friends.
The charity polled 2,000 people and found that over half of people over 55 know someone in their family with high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Other risk factors for heart disease include:
- Having type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol level
- Lack of exercise & a sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of heart disease
- Age, for women over 55
When it comes to the health of a loved one, 56% of those polled by the study are most likely to worry about someone in their family having a life threatening event like a heart attack or stroke.
Despite this, 58% said they have never sat down and talked with their family about changes to their lifestyle which could protect against cardiovascular disease. The study found that people are afraid to upset their loved ones by discussing these matters. Yet 89% of people polled who were over 55 said knowing about conditions that ran in the family would inspire them to make positive changes.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said “These statistics show that too few of us are having important conversations with our relatives about our inherited risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease can strike without warning, but by knowing if you’re predisposed to these devastating conditions you can help protect yourself against it.”
He went on to say ” Although you can’t change your family history, you can change your lifestyle and reduce your risk of heart disease.”
The British Heart Foundation are encouraging everyone to wear red on Friday February 5th to raise awareness and get people talking about the fight against coronary heart disease.
You can find more information on their website via the link below or read some of our articles detailing positive ways to make small changes to your lifestyle. Just put the words “Heart Disease” in the search box at the top of our home page.