Holidaymakers taking statins pay double for travel insurance

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Aug 162015

People with high cholesterol end up paying significantly higher travel insurance premiums even though the price increase is not justified by the cost of insuring them, an investigation by The Times has found.

In many cases, insurers quote twice the cost for insurance to the millions of Britons with raised cholesterol, even if it is controlled with statins — a figure that experts said was totally out of proportion to the actual increased risk. The rise was also out of line with life and health insurance, where people taking statins do not generally pay more.

Jules Payne, chief executive of Heart UK, said that this policy effectively penalised those who had been responsible enough to get their cholesterol checked and were working to control it. “There is no reason why insurance premiums should be higher because of raised cholesterol that is being managed,” she said. “This penalises responsible people who are actually at lower risk than many others.” Continue reading »

BHF Updated Heart Condition Booklets

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Aug 092015

bhflogoThe British Heart Foundation has a new set of heart conditions and treatment booklets available online.

These are :

Blood Pressure

Peripheral arterial disease

Atrial fibrillation (available soon)

Heart Transplant (available soon)

Each booklet includes patient case studies and they offer a valuable source of information and support to patients and their families.

The 4 phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation

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Aug 062015

The purpose of cardiac rehabilitation is to restore patients with CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) to optimal physical and emotional status.

There are 4 phases of cardiac rehabilitation, each of which are described below :

Phase 1 – usually takes place in hospital after experiencing a heart event eg Heart Attack, Bypass Surgery, Angiography or other cardiac problems

In-patients will be seen by a Cardiac Specialist Nurse, who will try to answer any questions they may have. Appropriate advice will be given about your condition prior to discharge from hospital.

Phase 2 – is your recovery period at home

You will be contacted by a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Nurse and given a nurse clinic appointment.

At the clinic, the nurse will take your pulse and Blood Pressure. You will have a chance to ask any questions you may have about your heart condition and your recovery.

The nurse will talk about any lifestyle changes you may need to make to help your recovery and long term health.

You will be assessed as to your suitability to take part in the Phase 3 exercise programme.

Phase 3 – Poole Hospital offers either an 8 week exercise programme, or home based Heart Manual

The Heart Manual is usually chosen by those patients who do not wish to attend the group based exercise programme, or those not suitable to attend an exercise class.The Heart Manual includes all the information a patient would receive if attending the exercise programme.

The exercise programme is an 8 week course. It is run by a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Nurse, a BACPR qualified Exercise Instructor and a Physiotherapy Assistant.

Each session lasts approx 90 minutes. The exercise component lasts about an hour, and is then followed by educational talks which include medication, diet, exercise, stress, relaxation, Q&A and an introduction to Poole Heart Support Group.

Phase 4 – long term maintenance of physical activity and lifestyle change

To be effective, the changes you have made in the previous 3 phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation should be maintained for the rest of your life.

By the time you reach phase 4, it is hoped you are ready to exercise alone, or in a community based exercise group.

Poole Heart Support Group offer a variety of classes and support to help you continue with your long term health goals.

Phases 1-3 are funded by the NHS. Phase 4 is available with PHSG at a very reasonable charge of £8 a year, whilst each exercise session you attend costs £3.