Red Alert to help cut High Peak’s heart disease deaths

AN AVERAGE of 158 High Peak residents will die of heart disease every year, according to the British Heart Foundation and NHS Derbyshire County.

The figures, published to mark National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 24, show the effect the disease can have on people’s lives.

Now staff from NHS Derbyshire County will wear their hearts on their sleeves as part of a red-themed day of activities in support of heart disease – which is the largest cause of death in the UK.

And by pledging to wear an item of red clothing and donating £1 for every outfit worn to the heart charity, NHS staff hope to help further fund research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease.

Heart disease can affect anyone – the young and the old – and is the largest cause of death in the UK.

Between 2008 and 2010 the disease was responsible for 423 deaths in the area, with 154 being caused by a heart attack.

Tony Morkane, associate director of public health for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “It’s never too late to tell people that they can strike back against heart disease.

“Simple changes to lifestyles, such as giving up smoking, exercising more regularly, cutting down on fat, eating fruit, vegetables and less salt can prevent, control or even reverse the killer effects of the disease.

“During National Wear Red Day we’re also advising people to take advantage of new, free health MOTs which GPs are offering to anyone aged between 40 and 74 – as these can pick up signs of fatal illnesses like heart disease early, aiding life-changing steps towards better heart health.”

Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease can put an individual at greater risk.

Free health checks are available at 81 GP surgeries across the county.

Further information about practical steps to improve heart health can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyhearts/Pages/Lifestylechanges.aspx.