February is devoted to increasing awareness and prevention of the UK’s biggest killer, Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
One in five men and one in eight women fall victim to CHD each year while, after the age of 50, the age/gender ratio evens out. The fact that heart disease also causes about 82,000 deaths each year means it’s quite likely that we or people we know could develop coronary problems at some stage in life.
National Heart Month focuses on awareness as well as fundraising events to beat heart disease.
Heart disease awareness
Spreading the word and offering vital support to those with heart conditions is key to a successful campaign.
Watching your diet and blood pressure is an important way to prevent coronary problems in the UK. A healthy diet and no smoking reduces your risk of heart problems, as does keeping active and as free from stress as possible.
The British Heart Foundation’s Know Your Heart interactive video is a great way to learn more about how your heart works and how to lower your risk of heart disease.
Fundraising activities include many different forms of sporting fun for all ages. If you prefer to raise money but not your pulse rate, then why not organise a red wine tasting evening? Famed to be good for the heart, red wine in moderation is an ideal theme to work with. “Come Dine Red with Me” evenings encourage friends and family to bring along red themed dishes, e.g. casseroles with red wine, tomatoes, strawberries etc. and raising money from donations on the evening.
At work you could also arrange a red themed day – a day when everyone wears red or even dyes their hair red. Valentine’s Day, already a red heart day, is a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds by selling cards for CHD.
The money raised go towards setting up community support groups, training materials, specialist heart failure nursing, and research projects to find cures for all types of heart diseases. The British Heart Foundation funds over 50% of all UK cardiovascular research and continued support from donations is vital.
For further information the British Heart Foundation website provides a mine of information on heart disease as well as fund raising ideas and resources.