04.09.2018

Newcastle clinician backs PHE North East campaign urging people to take a heart test

People across the North East are being invited to take a free heart age test to determine their risk of cardiovascular disease and prevent deaths in the area.

In the North East, there are 2,983 deaths from heart disease and 1, 764 deaths from stroke each year. It is estimated that around a quarter of these deaths are in people under the age of 75 and 80% of those are preventable if people made lifestyle and behaviour changes to improve their heart health.

Completed tests in the North East show that 80% of people have a heart age higher than their actual age. Worryingly, 37% have a heart age over five years and 15% at least 10 years over their actual age.

Dr Vijay Kunadian, Consultant Cardiologist at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The percentage of adults in the North East with a heart age older than their actual age is a serious concern. It’s vital people are aware of their heart health and take steps to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack.

“The contributing factors of cardiovascular disease such as obesity, poor diet and sedimentary lifestyles are all things people can change to improve their heart health, and they can change them now.”

“I encourage all adults in the region to take a few minutes to complete the free, online test for a clear picture on their heart health and to learn more about the steps they can take to reduce their chances of heart disease and stroke.”

Chris Coulter, 54, from Newcastle upon Tyne, said: “Before I took control of my health and lost weight I didn’t have a life. I didn’t really go anywhere or do anything, and didn’t enjoy myself. Now things are completely different. I’m much healthier and love being active and looking after my heart – especially when it comes to climbing mountains!

“My only regret is that I didn’t do something sooner, so I'd encourage others to be aware of the state of their health and make preventative lifestyle changes. Lesley, my partner, had been worried about my health for a long time and I dread to think how bad it might have got, but she didn’t say anything because she thought it was kinder not to upset me.”

Public Health England’s Heart Age campaign will run until 30 September. Adults are encouraged to search ‘heart age’ to take the free online test.

  • 4,747 people die from a heart attack or stroke each year in the North East
  • Around 1 in 4 deaths are among under 75s which could be prevented if people take action to improve their heart health
  • PHE is calling on all adults in the North East to take a free online Heart Age Test to discover their heart age and whether they are at risk of a heart attack or stroke
  • Completed tests in the North East show that 80% have a heart age higher than their actual age, putting them at risk
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