A reminder to men to look after their hearts

By June Shannon Heart News   |   19th Nov 2020

On International Men’s Day 2020 the Irish Heart Foundation would like to remind men to look after their heart health.

The Irish Heart Foundation is pleased to support International Men’s Day International Men’s Day (IMD) which takes place on the 19th of November every year and to mark the day would like to remind men about the importance of looking after their hearts.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, 4,744 men died in Ireland last year due to cardiovascular disease. Of these, more than half or 2,561 men lost their lives to heart disease, 1,038 died from a heart attack and 714 lost their lives to stroke.

With ground breaking research conducted through the  ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ programme the Irish Heart Foundation was involved in releasing a new study earlier this year that revealed that 74 per cent of male farmers in Ireland had four or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease making them three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to those with fewer risk factors.

A total of 4,744 men died in Ireland last year due to cardiovascular disease.

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The Farmers Have Hearts- Cardiovascular Health Programme research involved The Irish Heart Foundation, Teagasc, the National Centre for Men’s Health (NCMH) at IT Carlow, Glanbia Ireland, the HSE and UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences and saw 868 male farmers undergo health checks in marts and Glanbia Ireland Agribusiness branches across the south, east and midlands.

The study also found that the majority of farmers (85.9%) are living with either overweight or obesity which is substantially higher than the national average for Irish men (68%). Four in five (80.5%) farmers were classified as having an ‘at risk’ waist circumference of ≥94 cm (37 inches). Abdominal weight is a major risk factor for heart disease.

The good news is that 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable and there are thing men can do to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. These include, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, getting their blood pressure and cholesterol checked, eating a healthy diet, being a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.

" If you have any immediate concerns about your heart health, please don’t delay getting it checked by your doctor,"

Marese Damery, Health Check Manager , The Irish Heart Foundation

During these challenging times of the global COVID-19 pandemic it is even more important for everyone to take care of both their physical and mental health. You can find out more information here on ways to keep your heart healthy during these difficult times.

Commenting Marese Damery, Health Check Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation said, “Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we are missing meeting men face to face to provide our regular heart health checks in the marts, communities, men’s sheds and through our mobile health unit nationwide. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about your heart health you can call our nurses on our support line Tel: 01 6685001.  If you have any immediate concerns about your heart health, please don’t delay getting it checked by your doctor.  Stay well, and take time to look after yourself during these challenging times.”

We are here for you

The Irish Heart Foundation’s nurse support line is available five days a week. Anyone living with heart disease and stroke who has concerns or questions about the coronavirus can contact the nurse support line on 01 668 5001 which is open from 9am to 1pm or email: support@irishheart.ie.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s new heart support group is on Facebook. Anyone who lives with heart failure or another heart condition or has a family member living with a heart condition can join here

The Irish Heart Foundation runs 21 stroke support groups and 5 heart failure groups around the country. All these groups have moved to telephone and online support. For more information, see here

The Irish Heart Foundation in conjunction with the HSE National Stroke Programme, has launched a new telephone support service for stroke patients who have recently been discharged from hospital. For more information, see here.

Please support our work

If you found this article helpful and would like to donate to the Irish Heart Foundation please see here.

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