Men urged to mind their hearts – Men’s health week

By June Shannon Heart News   |   10th Jun 2019

Men die on average four years earlier than women

This week (Monday 10 to Sunday 16 June 2019) is International Men’s Health Week 2019 and throughout the week the Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit (MHU) will visit a number of men’s groups around the country offering free blood pressure checks.

High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Organised by the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI), International Men’s Health Week aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems, to support men and boys to live healthier lives and to encourage them to seek help or treatment early.

According to MHFI, men die, on average, up to four years younger than women, and have higher death rates than women for most of the leading causes of death.

The latest data from the CSO revealed recently that heart disease and stroke were one of the leading causes of death in Ireland last year claiming more than 8,000 lives.

Of 8,938 lives these lost to heart disease and stroke in 2018, 4,140 were due to ischaemic heart disease and 1,680 to cerebrovascular disease or stroke. Of the 4,140 lives lost to ischaemic heart disease the cause of death in 1,740 people was “acute myocardial infarction” also known as a heart attack.

More men died from heart attack in 2018 compared to women with the data showing that acute myocardial infarction was the cause of death for 1,048 men compared to 692 women.

More men than women died from heart attack in 2018

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It is estimated that more than half, or 64 per cent of people over 50 in Ireland have high blood pressure and 41 per cent of people living with high blood pressure are not taking adequate medication.

The 2015 Irish Heart Foundation Farmers Have Hearts study found that almost half of farmers screened had high blood pressure, 46.1 per cent had raised cholesterol levels and the vast majority were overweight or obese.

The study also found that 80 per cent of farmers were in the high-risk group for heart disease.

The good news is that 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable so it is important to get checked out and take some simple steps to reduce your risk.

For more information on men’s health the MHFI has put together a Men’s Health Week ‘Man Manual’ which is available to download for free here 

Commenting on Men’s Health Week 2019 Mr Michael Lynch, Chairperson of the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland and Director of Men’s Action Network, said:  “This week is a great opportunity to shine a light on men’s health across the island of Ireland, and for everyone to have a conversation about how to improve the health and wellbeing of men and boys. It’s also a timely reminder for men to check their own physical and mental health and to do something practical and realistic to improve it. A broad range of events and activities are being organised across the island of Ireland, and this is the perfect time to get involved.”

The Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit will be open to the public for blood pressure checks on the following days this week:

Wed 12th 3pm – 5.30pm Adare Library, Main St, Blackabbey, Adare, Co. Limerick.

Sat 15th 1.30pm – 5.30pm Raheen Family Resource Centre, Clonroche, Co Wexford.

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Farmers have hearts heart attack heart disease high blood pressure men's health mobile health unit

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