By signing up to the British Heart Foundation’s initiative Croydon has joined around 50 other Heart Towns across the country to tackle heart disease. Heart and circulatory diseases are responsible for around a third of deaths in Croydon.
What is a Heart Town?
The Heart Towns initiative aims to mobilise communities across Britain to both help prevent and fight Britain’s biggest killer, circulatory and heart disease. Heart Towns work by bringing communities together through local fundraising and volunteering to help beat heart disease.
For the next five years, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) will be working closely with the council to offer residents and businesses support in running fundraising campaigns in schools and the workplace to raise awareness and provide education around how to prevent heart disease.
You can find out about key Croydon events and how to get involved and raise money on our Heart Town events page
Why do we need Heart Towns?
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the main cause of death in the UK, causing around a third of all deaths in England in 2010. Around 45% of all deaths from CVD are from coronary heart disease (CHD) and more than a quarter from stroke. CHD is the most common cause of death in England and Wales (15% of all deaths in 2010).
What can people do to reduce their risk of heart disease?
The good news is that many of the risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease are within our power to change: stopping smoking, keeping active and maintaining a healthy weight will greatly reduce your chances of developing heart disease, as well as other preventable illnesses such as diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Factors contributing to cardiovascular diseases:
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- being physically inactive
- being overweight or obese
- family history of heart disease
- ethnic background - South Asian men are more likely to develop CHD at a younger age, and have higher rates of myocardial infarction. Black people have the highest stroke mortality rates
- gender - men more likely to develop cardiovascular disease at an earlier age than women
- age - the older you are, the more likely you are to develop cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease increases significantly after the age of 40 years.
Healthy Living Hub
The healthy living hub is a great place to receive information around a healthy lifestyle, offering a free NHS stop smoking service (one to one consultations) and free healthy eating and physical activity advice. It is a brilliant starting place to become healthier and pick up tips on many areas of health. For more information visit the Healthy Living Hub page.
How do we get involved?
Communities in Croydon will be able to learn practical steps on how to improve their heart health and benefit from a wide range of resources and educational programmes, including:
- Heart Matters – a free service for keeping your heart healthy, including a magazine packed with great ideas and support
- Keeping Young Hearts Beating – a programme for local schools, youth groups and nurseries including Arties Olympics, Ultimate Dodgeball and Jump Rope for Heart
- Health at Work – turn your workplace into a more active, energised environment with this free package of practical tools and resources to promote better health in your organisation.
For more details about the programmes visit the British Heart Foundation.