A recent British Heart Foundation study has revealed that, while one third of people are worried about getting dementia or cancer, only 2% are afraid of coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. It is estimated that coronary heart disease is responsible for about 74,000 deaths in the UK each year but, despite it being an incredibly vital organ within the body, only one in 10 adults know how to look after their heart.
While coronary heart disease can be entirely preventable, many people are unaware of the risk factors associated with the disease and this can result in the condition becoming critical, with devastating consequences. The charity emphasised the importance of awareness and has issued further guidance to the public on how to prevent heart disease. Most of these preventative measures are within most people’s own control and include ensuring that a healthy weight and lifestyle is maintained, reducing the level of saturated fat and salt intake in our diets and giving up smoking.
Commenting on the results of the study, Naomi Holland, an associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: “Unfortunately, despite many campaigns promoting awareness of coronary heart disease, this study indicates that people are still unaware of the significance of the disease and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“We hope that this study will make more people aware of the condition and take it upon themselves to make changes to their lifestyle and to discuss any concerns that they may have with their GP. Once diagnosed, it is important that the condition is managed appropriately by both patient and doctor as the failure to do so may result in severe complications such as a stroke, heart failure or even death. Patients need to have an active role in their own health management and ensure they are getting the treatment and care they need.”