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New report exposes high levels of poor heart health



A Public Health England (PHE) report this week showed that the majority of people who took a free online test had a heart age ten years older than their actual age. The results emphasise the alarming levels of poor heart health experienced by people in Britain. 

Blood pressure testingWe also know that past research shows that Irish people in Britain have higher than average cardio–related deaths. Poor heart health is also a risk factor in vascular dementia and may explain the high levels within the Irish population.

About one quarter of the 7,400 deaths per month from heart disease or stroke are of people under 75. Despite the distressing results, the main message from the report that we want to highlight is that around 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes in people under 75 could be prevented.

If you’ve been following our Green Hearts journey, you’ll know that we’ve been travelling up and down the country carrying out free blood pressure screenings and encouraging people to ‘know your score’. 

According to the PHE report, around half of those who took the online test didn’t know their blood pressure numbers. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, however, it’s often symptomless so it’s up to us to make sure that we keep an eye on it by having it checked regularly.

Apart from being in the ‘know’, keeping your heart healthy is all about getting back to basics; cutting back on salt and saturated fat, drinking more water and taking the stairs instead of the lift… It all sounds so simple so why don’t more of us do it?!  

In truth, it’s never been as easy for us to be healthy, but it’s also never been as easy for us to be unhealthy.

healthy food

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to walk down the street without being tempted by the countless cafes and coffee shops full of tempting treats at our fingertips. 

With meal deals, delivery services and all–you–can–eat offers, is it any wonder that finding the time to prepare home cooked meals, let alone exercise, comes last on our ever–expanding to–do lists. 

Sure, the odd take–away or glass of wine will unlikely have any major negative impact on our health. But when this becomes the norm, when these choices become automatic habits, we can see from the report that it’s our health that pays the price for it in the end.

Among the preventable risk factors listed in the report were a high–fat diet, smoking and being overweight or obese.  

Green hearts logo

Regardless of where anyone is starting from, if they want to improve their health habits, it can start with one small step.

Green Hearts has a free heart health guide on the website that is full of useful information and tips to help people get started and a 30–day habit tracker to help monitor progress.

Forming heart health habits won’t just help your heart either! The PHE report went on to further highlight the link between heart disease and other conditions such as dementia, kidney disease and diabetes.

We know that anything that’s good for the heat tends to be good for the brain, Irish in Britain recently reported on a study that suggested up to 70 percent of dementia risk is lifestyle related as well.  

Why not try the ONE YOU heart age test yourself? CLICK HERE

Valerie and MEPWould you like to support our Green Hearts campaign to improve the heart health of Irish people in Britain?

Get involved or sponsor out 10K runners here.