Dr Peter Green, Clinical Accountable Officer for Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While death rates from heart disease have dropped dramatically in Medway in recent years, there is still more to do.
"Smoking is a known risk factor for heart attacks and stroke, and obesity is also a risk. Medway has some very effective programmes for people who want to quit smoking, lose weight and get fitter. I would encourage people to look at www.abettermedway.co.uk for details.
“Everyone aged between 40 and 74 is being offered an NHS Health Check. The check gives a picture of people’s individual risk of developing heart and kidney disease, stroke, and diabetes, so they can work together with their GPs to take action to reduce their risk if necessary.
“It is a rolling programme and everyone in the age group who has not already been diagnosed with one of these diseases will be sent an invitation by the NHS in the next five years.
"More than 14,000 people have already had their health check since the programme started in Medway in 2010, but not everyone makes an appointment. I would urge everybody invited for an NHS Health Check to take up the offer and improve their chances of leading a long and healthy life.
“I would also encourage people to check their pulse. An irregular pulse rate is a risk factor for stroke. Become aware of what is normal for you and you will be able to detect changes and seek help if you need it.”
Reducing stress and tackling anxiety and depression are also important ways to cut the risk of heart disease in men and women. Kent and Medway’s Live It Well website – www.liveitwell.org.uk – has advice and information on actions everyone can take to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
25 September 2012