National Heart Month – What are you doing for February?
Each year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) declares February as National Heart Month in the UK. Awareness of heart conditions and problems is bought to the fore with National Heart Month.
There are many different heart conditions and problems. Diseases relating to the heart and circulation are often referred to as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or heart disease.
Examples of CVD and heart disease include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Coronary heart disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congenital heart disease
CVD is both the UK’s and the world’s number one killer, according to the World Health Organization. Whilst the most recent figures from the BHF show that every day, 420 people in the UK die from CVD.
With the BHF also reporting that there are 7 million people in the UK living with CVD, someone you know – or maybe even yourself – has been touched by CVD.
Understanding heart conditions is an incredibly difficult task – there are lots of different types and understanding how the heart works is more helpful when trying to learn about these conditions. But looking at the facts will benefit yourself, your employees and the people you love in the long run.
There are several aspects a person can influence such as managing diet, keeping fit, and watching your blood pressure are just a few important factors. The British Heart Foundation’s webpage has information about heart diseases and the ways in which you can beat them. Also, don’t forget to get your free fundraising kit!
Each February, we actively promote National Heart Month at Healthy Performance by encouraging employers to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease to their employees. 2020 is no different with the heart being the subject of our January 2020 newsletter. In this, we look at healthy eating for a healthy heart, the healthy heart test and ingredients which are great for your heart.
On a wider scale, we assess the heart all year-round as part of our employee health checks. During our health assessments, we offer onsite checks which cover blood pressure and total cholesterol checks.
Why do these tests matter?
Firstly, blood pressure is the force that your blood pushes on the walls of the arteries. If you have high blood pressure then essentially there is a strain on the arteries and the heart. This can increase the risk of heart disease but also, strokes and kidney disease.
Around 30% of adults in England have high blood pressure but most don’t know they have the condition. It often presents no symptoms, but it’s important because it raises the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke. A blood pressure test is quick and painless and provides people with an instant result.
Secondly, it is essential that a person has enough cholesterol in their bodies in order to work effectively. However, too much cholesterol can cause our arteries to become blocked, which increases our risk of heart disease and stroke.
The risk of coronary heart disease (when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or disrupted) rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases and this can cause angina during physical activity.
Similarly to blood pressure, having a high cholesterol level itself doesn’t cause any symptoms which means that a person could have high cholesterol and not know about it. The only way to know your cholesterol level is to have it tested.
Find out more about the heart tests we offer as part of our employee health checks. Whilst should you like to find out more about how we can assist your organisation in raising awareness of the dangers of heart disease, get in contact with us and we will be happy to help.