For my 30th Birthday I decided I wanted to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Disease. To do this I wrote about Heart Health on this blog and about my fundraising challenge. See Pips Turning 30.
February is National Heart Month, lets talk about Heart Disease. I was born with Congenital Heart Disease, I had two holes in my heart and interrupted aortic arch. This was corrected at one week old.
Here in the UK 13 babies a day are diagnosed with a heart defect.
The BHF has some staggering statistics:
‘Heart and circulatory diseases cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK, that’s more than 160,000 deaths each year – an average of 460 deaths each day or one every three minutes in the UK.
- There are around 7.6 million people living with a heart or circulatory disease in the UK: 4 million men and 3.6 million women.
- Coronary heart disease (CHD; also known as ischaemic heart disease) is the most common type of heart disease. It is the most common cause of heart attack and was the single biggest killer of both and men and women worldwide in 2019.
- In the UK there are as many as 100,000 hospital admissions each year due to heart attacks: that’s one every five minutes.
- Around 1.4 million people alive in the UK today have survived a heart attack.
- More than 900,000 people in the UK are living with heart failure.
- Strokes cause around 34,000 deaths in the UK each year and are the biggest cause of severe disability in the UK.
- People with a family history of coronary heart disease are much more likely to develop vascular dementia.
- Each day 13 babies are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in the UK.
- There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, with a survival rate of less than 1 in 10.
- More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes – many thousands of them are undiagnosed.’
British Heart Foundation (2023)
These numbers show exactly why we need to ensure we invest in our heart health. Every single one of us.
Being born with Congenital Heart Disease means I will be on tablets for Hight Blood Pressure for the rest of my life. No lifestyle changes can stop this. I have Congenital Kidney Disease so I need to ensure my Kidneys keep working, otherwise this will have an impact on my heart. This is one of the reasons I am on tablets.
Congenital Heart Disease also means I have to attend hospital appointments to ensure my heart stays healthy and that I am doing everything I can to look after my heart.
We need to take heart health seriously, it affects more people every year. Taking far too many lives. You can do your part to help make change by learning CPR. Find a course near you.
By learning CPR you are buying someone time. You are keeping person alive when they have a Cardiac Arrest.
Most importantly phone the Emergency Services. Then someone can come and help you.
If you would like to learn more about the BHF please follow them on Twitter and give your support. Heart disease is cruel, but hopefully, one day, we can live in a world where it does not exist.
*I am not writing on behalf of the BHF* These are just my own thoughts surrounding Heart Disease as someone who was born with CHD.