This year’s ‘World Heart Day’ on 29 September is being supported by West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (WL CCG) and East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (ELR CCG).
The CCGS are working together with GP surgeries and local partnership organisations to help people understand the risks of developing heart disease and how it can be prevented.
It is estimated that one in 20 people in Leicestershire and Rutland suffer from coronary heart disease, and the rate is likely to rise as more people live longer.
Dr Hamant Mistry, Vice Clinical Chair of East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, said: “Improving local health by working with GPs to reduce the number of serious long-term health problems such as heart disease is a key priority for both CCGs.
“GPs are inviting people aged between 40 and 74 to come in for an NHS Health Check, which looks at the risk of developing heart problems, as well as other health conditions that can be linked to them. This check can help you improve your chances of leading a long and healthy life and we strongly urge people to attend when invited by GPs.”
World Heart Day was created in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, to inform people worldwide that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year and the numbers are rising.
This year’s campaign theme focuses on the importance of a life-course approach to the prevention and control of heart disease with a focus on women and children. The campaign highlights what actions can be taken through a person’s life to reduce their risk.
Dr Mistry added: “It is really important we get the message out there that many premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors like high cholesterol, smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are controlled.”
Walking is an ideal and free way to keep fit and healthy for the whole family and is not limited by different fitness levels. People can search ‘Change4Life’ for help on how to stay healthy by eating well and moving more. By entering a postcode you can find a list of local activities on the Change4Life ‘Find local activities’ webpage.
The British Heart Foundation charity is committed to helping anyone who has a heart condition or needs heart-related information, support and guidance. The charity offers a dedicated ‘Heart Helpline’ where cardiac nurses and heart health advisors are on hand to help with any questions or concerns. They can be contacted on 0300 330 3311 (call costs are similar to 01 or 02 numbers) and lines are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
People are also invited to join the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Heart Matters’ free membership service online. Benefits including a free welcome pack, a magazine, a tape measure to check waistlines, and there is online support.
For details on British Heart Foundation support services online and locally, visit www.bhf.org.uk/about-us/find-the-bhf-near-you.aspx