10 things you don’t know about Ireland’s #1 killer
Date: Wednesday 29 April, 2015
Ahead of its annual Happy Heart Appeal 7-9 May, the Irish Heart Foundation reveals 10 things you don’t know about Ireland’s #1 killer.
- That heart disease and stroke is in fact the #1 killer in Ireland – 4 out of 5 people don’t know this fact. Many think the biggest cause of death is from cancer or alcohol. But in fact 27 lives are lost EVERY DAY in Ireland to this disease.
- That stroke and heart attack are part of the same disease – called cardiovascular disease. People often wonder why the Irish Heart Foundation works in the area of stroke. In fact the brain and heart are connected by the arterial system. So a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries to the heart can cause a heart attack or in arteries to the brain can cause a stroke.
- That cardiovascular disease begins from the moment we are born. Throughout our lifetime our bodies build up fatty lumps in the arteries. After genetics, age and gender, how we live our lives decides the fate of our arteries.
- That 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is PREVENTABLE. By eliminating risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, being inactive and unhealthy diet – we can avoid getting this disease too young.
- That 1 in 5 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. And it’s not just an older person’s illness – stroke can affect anyone at any age. The Irish Heart Foundation’s annual stroke awards have seen children as young as two years old affected by stroke.
- That women are 7 times more likely to die from heart disease and stroke than from breast cancer. It’s important to think pink and it’s really important to Go Red for Women.
- That a heart attack does not always start with a pain in the chest. Indigestion, jaw or neck pain are often ignored but can be serious symptoms in men. For women, heart attack can present differently with nausea, sweating and vomiting.
- That high blood pressure is a silent predator and a ticking time bomb for a stroke. You won’t feel it and you won’t know you have it without getting it checked.
- That the single most important thing you can do to improve your heart health is quit smoking. And when you have given up for a year, your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is cut down to half that of a smoker.
- That there are 90,000 people living with heart failure right now in Ireland and 50,000 more people living with disability after stroke.