Symptoms of Heart Attack

 Health, Medical  Comments Off on Symptoms of Heart Attack
Nov 092017

If you suspect the symptoms of a heart attack, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Don’t worry if you have doubts. Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain – a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
  • pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen
  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • an overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack)
  • coughing or wheezing

Although the chest pain is often severe, some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion. In some cases, there may not be any chest pain at all, especially in women, the elderly and people with diabetes.

It’s the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.

Waiting for the ambulance

If you suspect the symptoms of a heart attack, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

If someone has had a heart attack, it’s important to rest while they wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on the heart.

If aspirin is easily available and the person who has had a heart attack isn’t allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-sized tablet (300mg) while waiting for the ambulance.

The aspirin helps to thin the blood and restore the heart’s blood supply.

Cardiac arrest

In some cases a complication called ventricular arrhythmia can cause the heart to stop beating. This is known as sudden cardiac arrest.

Signs and symptoms suggesting a person has gone into cardiac arrest include:

  • they appear not to be breathing
  • they’re not moving
  • they don’t respond to any stimulation, such as being touched or spoken to

If you think somebody has gone into cardiac arrest and you don’t have access to an automated external defibrillator (AED), you should perform chest compressions, as this can help restart the heart.

Chest compression

To carry out a chest compression on an adult:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5-6cm on their chest.
  3. Repeat this until an ambulance arrives.

Aim to do the chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute. You can watch a video on CPR for more information about how to perform “hands-only” CPR.

Read information about how to resuscitate a child.

Automated external defibrillator (AED)

If you have access to a device called an AED, you should use it. An AED is a safe, portable electrical device that most large organisations keep as part of their first aid equipment.

It helps to establish a regular heartbeat during a cardiac arrest by monitoring the person’s heartbeat and giving them an electric shock if necessary.

You can read more information about CPR and AEDs on the Arrhythmia Alliance website.

Angina and heart attacks

Angina is a syndrome (a collection of symptoms caused by an underlying health condition) caused when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becomes restricted.

People with angina can experience similar symptoms to a heart attack, but they usually happen during exercise and pass within a few minutes.

However, occasionally, people with angina can have a heart attack. It’s important to recognise the difference between the symptoms of angina and those of a heart attack.

The best way to do this is to remember that the symptoms of angina can be controlled with medication, unlike the symptoms of a heart attack.

If you have angina, you may have been prescribed medication that improves your symptoms within five minutes. If the first dose doesn’t work, a second dose can be taken after five minutes, and a third dose after a further five minutes.

If the pain persists, despite taking three doses of glyceryl trinitrate over 15 minutes, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Article published on NHS Choices

NHS England takes new measures to prevent heart disease

 Health, News  Comments Off on NHS England takes new measures to prevent heart disease
Aug 222017

Millions of people will be offered checks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation at GPs surgeries and local pharmacies, as part of an NHS England drive to cut heart disease deaths.

Woman taking blood pressure and heart rate with monitor

Our Associate Medical Director has welcomed the move, saying that improved detection of these conditions will prevent countless heart attacks and strokes, and help reduce the pressure on the NHS.

Risk factors for heart disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more than a quarter (26 per cent) of all deaths in the UK. However, some of the major risk factors for CVD are significantly underdiagnosed, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation (AF) – a type of abnormal heart rhythm.

Nearly 30 per cent of adults in the UK have high blood pressure and it is estimated 7 million adults remain undiagnosed. Similarly, around one third of people with AF are not yet diagnosed, increasing their risk of a potentially fatal stroke. This equates to around 500,000 people across the UK.

A donut chart showing that there are 9.5 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and up to 7 million who are undiagnosed

Simple checks

The scheme, called the NHS Right-Care Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Pathway, aims to identify people with heart disease risk factors by doing simple checks at GP surgeries and pharmacies. It will also take steps to ensure that people who have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are on the appropriate medication.

So far, the scheme has been rolled out at 84 of the 209 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England, with plans to introduce it at the remaining CCGs within the next two years.

Reducing variations in care

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Early detection of high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation or high cholesterol will ensure more people get the right treatments to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

“The NHS is good at doing this in some areas of the country but not all. If we can get the NHS to detect and treat atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol better, we will reduce the burden of disease on individuals, their families and the NHS.

“The Right Care programme is providing the NHS with the support and resources it needs to reduce the unacceptable variations in care across the country, ultimately to improve outcomes for patients.”

Continually improving care

Our work with the NHS has been central to identifying best case practice for improving the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions, including high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and genetically high cholesterol.

We are now working with the NHS to run pilot schemes aimed at finding more effective ways of diagnosing high blood pressure in the community, which could help inform future guidelines issued through initiatives like NHS Rightcare to CCGs.

Published by the BHF on 14/08/17

 Posted by at 11:12 pm

There’s no such thing as ‘fat but fit’, doctors told

 There’s no such thing as ‘fat but fit’, doctors told  Health, News  Comments Off on There’s no such thing as ‘fat but fit’, doctors told
Aug 162017

The mantra “fat but fit” is a myth that doctors should no longer perpetuate, scientists have said.

Research involving more than 500,000 people across Europe suggests that carrying too much weight is a cardiovascular problem in its own right and doctors should recognise it as such.

Nearly two thirds of adults in Britain are overweight or obese. About a third of them show no obvious sign of ill health, such as high blood pressure or insulin resistance, leading some experts to call them “metabolically healthy”.

Adele, the singer, has previously said that she would only lose weight if it affected her health or her sex life

Advocates of the theory include the singer Adele, who said that she “would lose weight only if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t”, to the UK medical regulator, which tells GPs there is no need to instruct people to diet or exercise more unless they exhibit serious warning signs.

An international team of researchers has found, however, that overweight people face a greater chance of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), which kills 73,000 people a year in Britain, more than any other condition.

The researchers tracked 366,000 women and 153,000 men between the ages of 35 and 70 in ten European countries, including the UK, for an average of just over 12 years.

During that period there were 7,637 cases of CHD. After stripping out other risk factors such as smoking, diet and exercise, the overweight but ostensibly healthy people were still 26 per cent more likely to have developed the disease than those of normal weight.

Camille Lassale, who led the study while at Imperial College London but who is now based at University College London, called on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to overhaul its guidance. She said: “Regardless of the measurements of blood pressure, blood glucose or cholesterol and so on, if you have a patient who is overweight or obese it is always wise to tell them to lose weight. It’s particularly relevant here because the UK has a greater prevalence of overweight [people] and obesity than other European countries.”

The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, also shows that even though the “fat but fit” did not necessarily meet the clinical criteria for health problems such as high cholesterol or triglycerides, they still had higher concentrations of these chemicals than people of normal weight. This led Dr Lassale and her colleagues to believe that the effects of being overweight catch up with most people eventually. “We think what happens is when you classify these people as metabolically healthy obese they are on their way to developing metabolic abnormalities,” she said.

Metin Avkiran, professor of molecular cardiology at King’s College London and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded part of the research, said: “This study conclusively shows that being obese increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, even if they are otherwise healthy.”

A spokesman for Nice said it regularly reviewed its guidance in the light of the latest scientific evidence.

•Only one in five GPs is familiar with the national guidelines on how much exercise people should do, according to a study in the British Journal of General Practice. The poll of 1,000 family doctors also found that only two fifths had made use of the 2011 recommendations for physical activity, which state that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week.

Published in The Times on 15/08/17

 Posted by at 10:38 pm

Protection from stroke: How the internet can help 1.3 million UK Atrial Fibrillation patients

 Health  Comments Off on Protection from stroke: How the internet can help 1.3 million UK Atrial Fibrillation patients
Feb 032017

Atrial Fibrillation (also ‘AF’ or ‘AFib’) is a serious health condition that, if untreated, can have severe consequences. In the UK alone, 1.3 million are diagnosed with AF. Every 18 minutes a UK citizen suffers an AF-related stroke. Battling AF and its life-changing consequences is not only a task for medical professionals: patient behaviour greatly influences the risks associated with AF. Our infographic on Atrial Fibrillation in the UK summarises what patients need to know, what apps they can use, and what sites they should turn to for more information.

Click for full-size image

Choosing the right treatment for an AF patient is up to the cardiologist or GP. However, patients themselves can do a lot to manage their risk. This of course assumes informed patients with access to the right set of tools. To give an overview of AF as well as helpful tools and sites, we sat down together with Anticoagulation Europe and designed an infographic on Atrial Fibrillation in the UK: What is AF? How wide-spread is AF in the UK? What can you do as a patient to mitigate the risk of stroke? And what are apps for Atrial Fibrillation patients and sites building a sound understanding of the disease?

What is atrial fibrillation and why is it dangerous?

Atrial Fibrillation describes episodes of irregular heartbeat. As a consequence, the heart may not empty completely and dangerous blood clots can form. If a clot breaks loose it can travel from the heart to the brain, where it can cause a stroke. People with Atrial Fibrillation have a 5 times higher risk of having a stroke. In the UK alone each year 30,000 patients suffer from an AF-related stroke.

The causes of atrial fibrillation are not fully understood. UK data shows that men are more often affected by AF than women and that the risk increases with age. There are also a couple of conditions that often go along with or precede AF, such as Hypertension, Angina Pectoris or Diabetes. Atrial Fibrillation should be taken seriously. The good news: When discovered early, the right treatment can control your heart rate and lower your risk of stroke significantly.

I have Atrial Fibrillation. What can I do?

AF is a serious health condition and your doctor will guide you through diagnosis and treatment decisions. Regular doctor visits are important to monitor your treatment and your symptoms, such as shortness of breath, tiredness and dizzyness. However, also when you are on your own, there is a lot you can do to ensure treatment success and safeguard yourself:

Never miss a dose

With AF, you typically receive different kinds of medication: Heart rate control drugs manage your irregular heartbeat. Anticoagulants such as Warfarin, Xarelto, Eliquis or Pradaxa prevent clots from forming. So while you might feel an immediate benefit from taking your heart rate control drugs, regular intake of your anticoagulant is key for preventing stroke. The MyTherapy app (available for iOS and Android) has been clinically tested for supporting you in safely taking medications, be it Warfarin or one of the newer NOACs (‘Novel Oral Anticoagulant, e.g. Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), Eliquis (Apixaban) or Pradaxa (Dabigatran)). MyTherapy reminds you to take your meds on time. It also supports you in monitoring your measurements, such as your heart rate and weight. The built-in health report summarises your medications, measurements and symptoms so you and your doctor can oversee your health progress.

Stay fit

Exercising is a great way to improve your quality of life. Even with Atrial Fibrillation you can do moderate physical activities to keep a healthy weight and to reduce your heart rate. Apps like the ‘7 Minute Workout’ can help you finding the right exercise and staying motivated. Before you start, please consult your doctor what you can and what you cannot do. Also, make sure to slowly ramp up your level of exercise and to always watch your pulse and symptoms.

Minimise risk factors

High blood pressure, poor diet or smoking are proven risk factors for stroke. Take action and protect yourself from a stroke. Apps like ‘Lifesum’ and ‘Smoke Free’ can help you set up and reach your individual health goals.

Buildling a sound understanding of your disease is a pre-requisite for taking informed decisions regarding (un-)healthy behaviour. If you are based in the UK and need additional information about atrial fibrillation and stroke, also check out:

  • NHS Choices
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Stroke Association
  • Thrombosis UK
  • AF Association

Article from MyTherapy on 17th January 2017


£5 blood test can predict risk of heart attack

 Health  Comments Off on £5 blood test can predict risk of heart attack
Jan 232017

A simple blood test could be used to predict which patients are at risk of heart attack up to 15 years later and determine those who would benefit from statins, according to research.

About seven million people take statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, yet there is continuing scientific debate about their effectiveness.

The £5 test, which is currently used to diagnose heart attacks in patients arriving at A&E, has been found to predict accurately the chance of someone suffering an attack in the future.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow claim that the highly sensitive test, which picks up on damage to the heart muscle, is a more effective way of assessing future heart disease risk than blood pressure or cholesterol.

The study of 3,000 men with high cholesterol but no history of heart disease found that changes in troponin blood levels could predict whether a person was at risk of heart attack or dying of coronary heart disease up to 15 years later.
The test measures the levels of proteins in the blood known as troponin T or troponin I, which are released when the heart muscle has been damaged, as occurs in a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease, which causes heart attacks, accounts for nearly 70,000 deaths in the UK each year. About seven million people take statins regularly to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, yet there is continuing scientific debate about their effectiveness.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggested that measuring levels of troponin in the blood could determine which patients were responding to the statins used to treat them.

Researchers found that patients whose troponin levels decreased after taking statins had lower risk of heart attack later on compared with those whose troponin levels were unchanged or increased, according to the paper.

However, because the study group consisted of middle-aged men with high blood cholesterol, the researchers said that further work was needed to see if the results were the same for women or men with lower cholesterol.

Professor Nicholas Mills, senior clinical research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, said: “Whilst blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure are important and associated with the risk of developing heart disease, troponin is a direct measure of injury to the heart. Troponin testing will help doctors to identify apparently healthy individuals who have silent heart disease so we can target preventative treatments to those who are likely to benefit most.”

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Before the findings from this research can be clinically applied, the usefulness of measuring troponin findings needs to be demonstrated in a wider group of patients. If this confirms its value, the test could easily be administered by GPs during standard check-ups and could ultimately save lives.”

From The Times 20th December 2016

 Posted by at 7:30 am

Thousands of heart patients are missing out on cardiac rehabilitation

 Health  Comments Off on Thousands of heart patients are missing out on cardiac rehabilitation
Jan 102017

Thousands of heart patients are missing out on cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack, increasing their risk of suffering a fatal event, according to new figures released today.

Around 66,000 heart patients missed out on cardiac rehabilitation in 2014/15, an effective service to help recovery following a heart attack or procedure.

Despite this shortfall, participation in cardiac rehabilitation has improved in the last decade, with uptake in the UK reaching 50 per cent for the first time last year.

But this is still just half the number of eligible heart patients across the UK, meaning tens of thousands of people are missing out.

Female patients in particular are being left behind and not accessing vital services to improve their chance of recovery and reduce the risk of suffering another heart attack.

New statistics

Statistics published today in the National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR), hosted at University of York, reveal:

  • 66,000 people took part in cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack or procedure, but this is still just half the number of eligible patients
  • More than 20,000 female patients are missing out
  • Half of patients are left waiting too long to start rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack can help achieve better physical and psycho-social outcomes for patients. This year’s audit report found that patients with clinical depression almost halved from 7% to 4% following cardiac rehabilitation, while the number of patients meeting national exercise guidelines increased from 40% to 70% following their programme.

Encouraging more women to take part

In England, around 52% of eligible male patients take part in cardiac rehabilitation compared to 44% of female patients.

It’s recommended that heart attack and angioplasty patients start cardiac rehabilitation within 33 days, but just half of programmes are meeting this target.

We are calling for cardiac rehabilitation services to do more to meet waiting time targets and wants to encourage more female patients to take part.

Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said: “It is hugely encouraging that more patients are accessing rehabilitation services, but there is still much more to be done.

“Half of heart attack patients are still missing out on this effective service and are at greater risk of suffering a deadly heart attack. There are also delays in patients getting access to care, with half of services failing to meet targets.

“There is variation between services which needs to be ironed out to ensure that every patient has access to cardiac rehabilitation which can reduce their risk of suffering another heart attack.”

The National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR), which we have funded and is hosted at the University of York, combines data from hundreds of rehabilitation centres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Cardiac rehabilitation offers physical activity support and lifestyle advice, such as exercise classes and dietary guidance, to help people living with heart disease manage their condition and reduce their risk of associated heart events.

Rehabilitation can help reduce the number of deaths by 18 per cent over the first six to twelve months and can cut readmissions by nearly a third (31%).

Article published by the British Heart Foundation

 Posted by at 7:30 am

Have your say on health changes at Poole drop in session

 Health, News  Comments Off on Have your say on health changes at Poole drop in session
Jan 042017

People living in and around Poole are being invited to an event to give their views on proposed changes to healthcare in Dorset.

The event is part of the ongoing public consultation on proposals that have been developed as part of the Clinical Services Review, a major review into healthcare in Dorset.

The Clinical Services Review was launched as a response to major challenges which the NHS faces in Dorset. This includes a growing population, a workforce shortage, increased demand and a potential funding gap of £158m a year by 2020.

The event will take place at St Mary’s Longfleet Church Centre on Thursday 19 January. There is no need to book a place and anyone wanting to attend is welcome to drop in at any time between 2pm and 8pm.

Staff from the local healthcare community will be on hand to answer questions and direct people to how they can make their views known. Copies of the consultation document – Improving Dorset’s healthcare – and questionnaire will be available to take away.

Anyone who is unable to attend the event can still have their say by picking up a consultation document and questionnaire locally. Copies are available from a range of places including GP practices and hospitals. A full list of where copies can be collected from is available at along with links to an online version of both the consultation document and questionnaire.

People without internet access can call 01202 541946 to find out where they can pick up a copy locally or request a copy through the post.

There are lots of events happening throughout the consultation and everyone is welcome to attend them.

For the latest information visit or follow us on social media or

The public consultation runs up to 28 February 2017.

Further information

Members of the local media are welcome to attend the sessions. Please notify our Communications team prior to event. All interview requests should be directed to the Communications team.

 Posted by at 5:50 pm

Why more people die in the winter

 Health, Medical  Comments Off on Why more people die in the winter
Dec 182016

More than 23,000 elderly people died as a result of being too cold last winter in England and Wales.The year before the toll was 29,000, which is nearly 10 people aged 65 or older every hour.

Yet temperatures only dropped to 4C on average.

Latest figures for Scotland show the nation’s winter death toll was the lowest on record. Deaths fell by nearly 1,000, but still totalled 1,790.

Meanwhile, the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk in east Siberia, has no excess winter deaths, even though temperatures there can drop to minus 49C.

So why and how are so many people perishing in the UK from the cold?

The deaths in winter are not due to massive cold…It’s down to quite minor degrees of cold that people were getting every day
Expert Professor Bill Keatinge

Professor Bill Keatinge, an expert from Queen Mary University of London, has studied the issue extensively.

He said: “On the whole, the countries that have the mildest winters tend to have a higher mortality than countries with very cold winters.

“This is because the deaths in winter are not due to massive cold, with people being overwhelmed in their own houses and dying of extreme cold.

“It’s down to quite minor degrees of cold that people were getting every day.”

Prolonged exposure not big chill

He said very few of the deaths were caused by true hypothermia, where the core body temperature drops significantly.

“Most of them are due to strokes and heart attacks.

“This is because the blood becomes more liable to clot in people who are exposed to the cold.”


  • 24C – top range of comfort
  • 21C – recommended living room temperature
  • Less than 20C – death risk begins
  • 18C – recommended bedroom temperature
  • 16C – resistance to respiratory diseases weakened
  • 12C – more than two hours at this temperature raises blood pressure and increases heart attack and stroke risk
  • 5C – Significant risk of hypothermia

Source: West Midlands Public Health Observatory

When exposed to cold, the body contracts down the blood vessels in the skin to stop blood flowing to the skin and to prevent heat loss.

This means more of the blood circulates to central parts of the body, which overloads the heart and lungs with blood.

The body gets rid of fluid to reduce this load by excreting salt and water, but the net result is the blood becomes more concentrated and liable to clot.

The next biggest cold-related killer is respiratory infections such as flu.

But Professor Keatinge added: “Flu epidemics have been declining for over 30 years. The last really big one was in 1976.”

He said this was mainly down to recent flu viruses being less virulent rather than medical interventions such as annual flu jabs for the elderly.

“The fact that we now keep much warmer in winter and we are aware of the problem means that all the various causes of cold-related illness and death have declined,” he said.

Winter woollies

But he said people in the UK and places like Portugal, which also has a high rate of excess winter deaths, were still pretty poor at keeping warm in winter.

“People in the north of Finland take great precautions against cold. They keep their houses warmer in winter than we do, and they are much better equipped for outdoor cold.

“They have much better outdoor clothing. They take it very seriously.”

Although we are getting better at keeping our houses warm, Professor Keatinge said people in the UK often dress unsuitably for cold weather.

“There is no problem about being out in winter if you are suitably clothed and you are exercising and you stay warm.

People need to realise that cold can kill and they need to keep warm
Mr Patrick Sachon from the Met Office

“But if you wait for a bus and you assume a bus is going to come in five minutes and it doesn’t come for 45 minutes, and you are at a windy stop with no shelter and without adequate clothing you can get very cold indeed.

“Public transport is a menace from this point of view. It doesn’t have to be, but we tend not to have very well heated waiting rooms for trains and bus shelters that are not wind-proofed. That is probably a substantial source of problems,” he said.

Global warming

Studies show elderly people, and particularly those on low incomes, are at the greatest risk. There are a number of reasons why.

Those that succumb are not necessarily sick already, but older people’s blood vessels tend to have rougher linings than those of younger people, which makes them even more susceptible to clotting.

Even mild winters claim lives

Those on small pensions might struggle to keep their houses warmer and might have to rely on public transport or walk rather than use a car, for example.

Professor Keatinge also warned that global warming could make the situation worse rather than better.
“Global warming is making our winters milder and that could be dangerous. If people stop worrying about cold they get more careless about heating their homes and wearing warm clothing.”

‘Don’t be complacent’

Mr Patrick Sachon from the Met Office said winter deaths go up by about 1.4% for one degree drop in temperature below 18C.

“So it doesn’t have to be that cold to start to increase mortality,” he said.

“Our winters are much milder than in other countries. It rarely gets below minus five. Most winter days, the temperature usually gets above freezing and when it’s mild, it can be 13C.


  • If you take medicine for a health condition, make sure you have enough of it and keep it at hand
  • Wrap up warm
  • Keep active
  • Keep your bedroom at 18C
  • Keep your living room at 21C

“But even when it is relatively mild, if there is a strong wind that can make you cold and people are not prepared for that when they are out and about.

“In this country, people don’t think about what getting cold will do to them because it doesn’t kill them immediately.

“We don’t have well insulated houses and we have a culture that believes having a window open to let in lots of fresh air is good for us, even though it is not.

“What you should actually be doing is keeping your living room at 21C and your bedroom at 18C, which is quite warm by most people’s standards.”

He said this winter was likely to be another mild one in the UK, but he warned this was no reason for people to be complacent.

“We could still get a cold snap. People need to realise that cold can kill and they need to keep warm,” he warned.

Published on the BBC website at

 Posted by at 10:35 pm

We want your views about ideas for health and care in Poole

 Health, News  Comments Off on We want your views about ideas for health and care in Poole
Apr 032016

The NHS in Dorset is asking local people to give their views on health care in the county.


Click on poster for a larger image

Here is the content of a message from Frances Aviss of Dorset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) :

I was wondering if you could circulate some information for me to members of Poole Heart Support Group?

In response to the need to co-design integrated community services with local people we are hosting a series of 9 public engagement events (supported by a virtual/online engagement opportunity) in late March and early April 2016. The Poole event is on the evening of Thursday 7 April at Parkstone Grammar School.

The initial focus at each event will be on the importance of us learning from people’s lived-experience, exploring their views of health and care services in their particular area of Dorset.

We will then briefly introduce the need to change how health and care services are provided and what is being done about this.

The main focus of the evening will be to seek views on emerging ideas/proposals (based on national and local need) around integrated community services and community vanguard proposals.

We plan to do this through an interactive ‘walk-through’ – where information on emerging ideas is displayed on clear accessible posters on a series of display boards.

Staff will be on hand to answer questions and people will be invited to capture their views on the posters – reflecting on what they feel is good/positive about the ideas/proposals and what they feel should be given consideration/any concerns they might have.

Further information on the events along with promotional materials and details of how to register are available on our website and I have attached the Poole flyer (see poster on this page)

With very best wishes and many thanks
Frances Aviss

 Posted by at 10:24 am

Diet rich in potassium could improve kidney and heart health in type 2 diabetes patients

 Health  Comments Off on Diet rich in potassium could improve kidney and heart health in type 2 diabetes patients
Nov 202015

Eating a diet rich in potassium could reduce the risk of renal and cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes, new research finds.

Type 2 diabetes patients have an increased risk of end-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD) and cardiovascular (heart) disease. Having uncontrolled high blood sugar levels for a prolonged period, high blood pressure and excess lipids in the blood are well-known risk factors for both.

Researchers from the Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan, investigated the effect of potassium on the heart and kidney health of 623 Japanese type 2 diabetes patients. None of the patients were using diuretic medication or had any history of cardiovascular disease.

Potassium and sodium levels were measured through urine samples, which the researchers report is an accurate indicator of the amount consumed.

Diet rich in potassium could improve kidney and heart health in type 2 diabetes patients

Diet rich in potassium could improve kidney and heart health in type 2 diabetes patients

Over a median follow-up period of 11 years, patients who had higher levels of potassium in their urine had a lower risk of renal dysfunction and cardiovascular problems. Sodium excretion showed no correlation with reduced risks.

Lead researcher Dr. Araki believes these findings show that increased potassium in the diet could prevent renal and cardiovascular problems from developing, but also urged caution.

The aim of the study was to further research into dietary recommendations, but does not provide conclusive evidence that potassium has a protective effect on the kidneys of diabetic patients. Moreover, elevated levels of potassium in the blood can cause hyperkalemia, a dangerous condition that affects some people with diabetes.

Dr. Araki’s team are now planning interventional trials to determine whether increasing dietary potassium is beneficial for diabetes patients.

The study was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Source: Diet rich in potassium could improve kidney and heart health in type 2 diabetes patients