Don’t let inherited heart disease break your heart

Date: 03 February 2017

February is The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Heart Month. To support the BHF, Bromley CCG is raising awareness of the sudden devastation caused by inherited heart disease (IHD). Inherited heart disease is heartless and it can strike anyone at any time, shattering the lives of people it leaves behind.

According to the BHF, there are currently around 600,000 people in the UK living with an inherited heart condition. These conditions can affect people of any age and can be life threatening. Common symptoms include dizziness, blackouts, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. For most families, however, the first sign there is something wrong, is when someone dies unexpectedly.

If an inherited heart condition is detected, treatment may involve medication, surgery or lifestyle changes, including exercise, healthy eating, and quitting smoking. People may also want to speak to the BHF’s Genetic Information Service (GIS) helpline nurses on 0300 456 8383, available Mon-Fri, from 09:00 – 17:00 (similar cost to 01 or 02 numbers).

During winter, when people with heart conditions are particularly at risk, it is also recommended to get a flu jab. According to the Office of National Statistics , an extra 350 people will die each week from heart disease and strokes between December and March across England and Wales – equating to an extra 5,900 deaths linked with cardiovascular disease last year. BHF associate medical director Dr Mike Knapton, said: “People with chronic heart disease are around 11 times more likely to die if they develop flu compared to healthy individuals.”

Whatever your age, or risk of IHD, keeping your heart as healthy as possible is the most important thing you can do to help prevent and manage heart disease.

In just three years (2012-14), 1,279 residents died from cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, and stroke.

These conditions can strike people of all ages. That’s why we are urging all our residents to use the British Heart Foundation’s annual Heart Month during February to show their hearts some love, by getting a flu jab, eating healthily, taking regular exercise, stopping smoking, and cutting down on alcohol and stress.

Earlier this year we set up a new Heart Support Group as patients told us that people with heart problems need an opportunity to share experiences and get information on their condition.

The programme has been extremely successful; with patients needing to book in advance, such is the demand for places!

To find out more about future support group meetings, and to find out more, please call 01689 866 185 or email

Further information and resources to improve heart health are available from the British Heart Foundation website, and you can also check your heart age with NHS Choices by visiting:

  • Summary:

    February is The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Heart Month.

NHS Bromley CCG, Beckenham Beacon, 379 Croydon Road, Beckenham, BR3 3QL

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