Know your numbers this world heart day

Local GPs from Waltham Forest are encouraging residents to know their blood pressure and their cholesterol levels this Heart Awareness Day on 29 September 2015.

Blood pressure and cholesterol are two of the most important numbers residents need to know because they give an insight into how healthy the heart is and can reveal the effect that lifestyle has on the body.

Having high blood pressure and cholesterol can be a signs of cardio vascular disease (CVD). With CVD arteries that carry blood around the body become narrowed. In time, the arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart, which can lead to a stroke, angina and/or heart attacks occurring.

Approximately, 73,000 people in the UK die each year from CVD.  In the UK, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with CVD and around two million people affected by angina.

For this year’s Heart Awareness Day the World Heart Federation is asking people to look at ‘creating heart-healthy environments’. There are plenty of ways to do this:

  • Stop smoking
  • Get active
  • Follow a heart-healthy diet
  • Get to a healthy weight
  • Manage stress and anger
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Consume alcohol only in moderation

Dr Anwar Khan, chair of NHS Waltham Forest CCG and a local GP, said:

“When you visit your GP ask them to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

“I encourage people who are between 40 and 74 years old to attend an NHS Health Check. If you are registered with a GP, and don’t already have a heart or long term condition, you will be invited to attend an NHS Health Check every five years. As part of the check your blood pressure and cholesterol level will be measured.

“Your GP or nurse will then talk with you about your results and discuss appropriate lifestyle changes you could make to improve the health of your heart. You may be surprised how some small, long-lasting changes to your lifestyle can make a huge difference.

“Even if you don't qualify yet for an NHS Health Check, there are plenty of other ways to build up a picture of your heart’s health. For example through the heart age test which can be found on the NHS choices website.”

Cllr Ahsan Khan cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“We really do want more people in Waltham Forest to take up the offer of a free NHS Health Check if you are entitled to one.

“The check takes less than half an hour and it can be very helpful in flagging up any potential health issues and can make a real difference to your wellbeing.”

Dr Andrew Taylor, Director of Public Health, Waltham Forest, said:

“Even if you feel fit and healthy, it is really important that you don’t miss out on taking this free NHS Health Check.  Some very common conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can be picked up before you have any obvious symptoms.  It is also a good time to get some reassurance and support if you do have any health worries.

“So I would urge you, when you receive your invite, to make an appointment to attend.”