Taking a statin should always be a patients choice

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Nov 252014

Nearly everyone in America who is in their late sixties or older should consider taking a statin, according to a US cardiologist.

Writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the cardiologist argues that new prescribing guidelines in the United States mean that nearly everyone would be recommended the cholesterol lowering drug.

Following the publication of new national guidelines in November 2013, American doctors were advised to recommend a statin to people with a 7.5 per cent risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.

In the UK, guidelines for the prescription of statins are different, with GPs being advised to offer them to people who have a 10 per cent chance of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Continue reading »

Tackling High Blood Pressure

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Nov 232014

The BHF joins health organisations to tackle the nation’s high blood pressure

Blood Pressure Test Strap

Blood Pressure Test Strap

The British Heart Foundation has joined forces with leading health organisations to improve the nation’s blood pressure levels and stop more lives being cut short by cardiovascular disease.

Around seven million people in the UK are unaware they have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke.

Figures show reducing the nation’s blood pressure to within healthy limits could save the NHS £850 million in health and social care spend over 10 years.

The BHF has teamed up with Public Health England and other key health organisations to launch a new strategy aimed at improving the way we prevent, diagnose and treat high blood pressure.

Millions of people walking around with this ticking time bomb, unaware that they are at increased risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke

Professor Peter Weissberg, our Medical Director, said: “High blood pressure produces no symptoms until it causes a heart attack or a stroke, yet it is easily detectible and easily treated.

“Despite this there are millions of people walking around with this ticking time bomb, unaware that they are at increased risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke.

“It is simply unacceptable that so many avoidable heart attacks and strokes are occurring when the solution is so simple.

“The British Heart Foundation is strongly behind Public Health England’s new action plan. By identifying people with high blood pressure and treating them we will have an enormous impact on the future health of our nation.”

Article reproduced from the British Heart Foundation

Diabetes and Heart Disease

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Nov 182014

control diabetesIf you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone without diabetes.

Diabetes causes high levels of glucose in your blood.  This can affect the walls of your arteries, and make them more likely to develop fatty deposits (atheroma).

If atheroma builds up in your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart) you will develop coronary heart disease, which can cause heart attack and angina.

Types of diabetes

Type one diabetes occurs when your body cannot make insulin. This type usually affects children and young adults.

Type two diabetes occurs when your body can’t produce enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work properly. Type two diabetes is more common and tends to develop gradually as people get older – usually after the age of 40. It’s closely linked with:

  • being overweight
  • being physically inactive
  • a family history of diabetes.

Some ethnic groups have a much higher rate of diabetes – particularly people of African Caribbean and South Asian origin.

What can I do to reduce my risk of developing diabetes?

You can greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes by controlling your weight and doing regular physical activity.  The great news is that doing these things will also make you less likely to develop other cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke – as well as being great for your general mental and physical wellbeing.

How can I protect my heart if I already have diabetes?

If you have diabetes, it’s very important to make sure that you control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol to help reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

To do this you can:

  • do more physical activity
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • control your weight, and
  • give up smoking.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you may also need to take  a cholesterol-lowering medicine such as statins to help protect your heart.

Article reproduced from the British Heart Foundation at http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/diabetes.aspx

“Emma’s Twins”

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Nov 162014

Hi All

“Emma’s Twins,” that exercise in her class at Canford School, on her last day before maternity leave as her new twins girls are due mid December

Jim Waine

Vice President Poole Heart Support Group

Emma's "Twins"

Emma’s “Twins”

 Posted by at 6:46 pm

News from Ken Peters

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Nov 102014

PHSG members may be pleased to learn that we have a “Sit FIT” class every Monday that is very popular and over subscribed. We started it three years ago in a copy of Hearts on seats. Hampshire has no heart support schemes anywhere and even the university hospital has only the six weeks rehab with no follow up. It is surprising that the example set by Poole has not become nation wide. Our GP system here is one big mess as we can only make appointments with an available doctor so there is no continuity and to make matters worse the doctors come and go at regular intervals so you do not get to know anyone. This is the result of the big NHS shake up last January. I wonder how things are at Poole?

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:28 pm