Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Home Health "Know your cholesterol the way you know your PIN code"

"Know your cholesterol the way you know your PIN code"

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Getty Images

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Most cases of cardiovascular disease can be prevented by a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle

People are encouraged to know their cholesterol and blood pressure values ​​as well as their bank PIN code – because this could save their lives.

These numbers show early signs of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Forty health organizations have joined forces to get more people on the road to a routine NHS health check.

Doctors should also better identify and treat high-risk patients, they say.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes one in four deaths in England, which is equivalent to a human who dies every four minutes, according to Public Health England and NHS England.

Bad heart and arterial health can also lead to heart failure, kidney disease, arterial disease and vascular dementia.

Health authorities are therefore endeavoring to improve the detection and treatment of three conditions that contribute to CVD – atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol – over the next 10 years.

These conditions often have no symptoms. For this reason, health experts recommend that NH surgeons, some pharmacies and shopping centers carry out local health checks for all over-40s.

They also ask people over 30 to take the Heart Age test.

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Ian Kemp

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Keith had to give up after his second heart attack work

"I had to give up work"

Keith Wilson from Liverpool had a heart attack at 37 out of the blue.

"I had no symptoms and no reason to believe that I was ill in any way," he says.

His father had died of heart disease in the late 1960s, so he assumed that older people were hurting something.

"I just did not think I would get it, I was complacent," he says.

After a second heart attack, Keith spent the next three to four years in hospital and received treatment.

He had to give up work and this affected his family and young son.

Keith is now 60 years old and he's mindful of his health and he's paying close attention to how much he drinks and trains. He quit smoking right after his heart attacks.

"Prevention better than cure"

Most cases of CVD are preventable. PHE recommends doing the following in addition to free health checks:

  • stop smoking
  • eating healthy
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • drink it safely

The report also asks health professionals to improve the treatment of patients at risk for CVD.

By 2029, PHE and NHS want England:

  • 80% of people with high blood pressure were recognized and treated – currently 57%
  • 75% of the 40-74 year olds with measured cholesterol levels are currently using the free health check
  • 45% of 40- to 74-year-olds with high CVD risk were treated with statins – compared to 35% at present

These goals will help achieve the commitment to prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementias, as set out in the Government's long-term plan for the NHS.

However, there are no new resources for these new goals.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, said, "We know our pin numbers, but not the numbers that save our lives.

"Thousands of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by more people knowing their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and seeking help early."

Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director of the NHS, said reducing health inequalities is also a priority. People in the most disadvantaged populations are more likely to die prematurely from CVD than those who were worst off.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said, "Nearly half of people with high blood pressure live in their everyday lives without being discovered or treated.

"Millions of people are unnecessarily susceptible to heart attacks or strokes if that could be prevented.

"Well, I want to help more people to take the time to protect their future health and be examined."

It is estimated that five million people in England have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.


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