Cardiovascular disease is the greatest worry for our dad's Health amongst the UK public.
The new survey, sponsored and funded by AstraZeneca, conducted in advance of Father’s Day has revealed that our Dads’ future Heart health is our biggest worry - more of a worry than concerns about our Dads developing cancer or having a stroke.
However, the survey results also suggest that knowledge of cardiovascular disease (CVD) amongst those questioned is low.
Over 2,000 people in the UK were questioned in an independent survey to understand attitudes towards their Fathers’ Health. Nearly half of the participants surveyed rated cardiovascular Health in the top three medical conditions they worry about for their Father, with only 20% rating stroke in the top three.
However, the public’s attitudes and knowledge towards cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not match reality: 53% of people surveyed thought that if a person suffers a Heart attack they would have a good chance of surviving and leading a normal life, whereas published studies in fact show that a third of people die within the first year following a Heart attack in the UK.
CVD is still the largest cause of death within the UK despite a recent fall in the incidence. 24% of those surveyed stated that their Father currently has issues with their cardiovascular health such as high blood pressure or heart disease, more than any other health condition listed in the survey, including cancer.
Although CVD was the top concern amongst those surveyed, 41% thought “heart attacks are no longer a serious health event”. However, approximately 94,000 people die in the UK each year from coronary heart disease and one in five of all men die from the disease.
Medical advances and treatments have been shown to significantly improve CVD outcomes and could save the lives of many more people, but some are not yet widely available on the NHS despite being recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
In addition to new medical advances, the Government also recognises the need for a renewed focus on cardiovascular care: policy-makers and patient groups are working together on a new Cardiovascular Outcomes Strategy which will set standards in improving awareness, prevention, and management of CVD patients.
AstraZeneca and HEART UK are calling for the general public to be more aware of the potential severity of CVD and the Department of Health to ensure optimal treatment is provided to patients who have had a heart attack to reduce the risk of repeat events.
Jules Payne, Chief Executive Officer of HEART UK, comments: “Rates of cardiovascular disease are falling due to people living more healthy lives, which is great news. However there are over two million people in the UK3 who have survived a heart attack and are living with the consequences. Patients need to remember they are still at risk after they leave hospital. It is important that heart patients make the most of cardiac rehabilitation services in order to reduce the risk of a repeat event. This includes improving diet, exercising more regularly, making sure they take their prescribed treatments and having discussions with their doctor about which treatments are best for them.”
Alan, aged 50 from Sheffield suffered a heart attack several years ago: “My two daughters will be making the usual fuss over me this Father’s Day, and thank goodness they can. I suffered a severe heart attack two years ago, and needed three electric shocks to restart my heart and underwent extensive surgery. But thanks to brilliant health care which saved my life, I am now able to enjoy life to the full again. The process of getting back to normality is a long one and it doesn’t end when you leave hospital. That is only the start of the process of rehabilitation. I changed my lifestyle and diet, started to go to a gym and generally looked at the healthy options in every aspect of my life. And the motivation is certainly there – so that I can continue to enjoy many more Father’s Days to come.”