Over three quarters of people in the North East have someone in their family with factors that put them at greater risk of heart disease.
This is according to new statistics released ahead of the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Wear it. Beat it. campaign to get the nation wearing red to fight heart disease on Friday 5.
The BHF’s survey shows that 53 per cent of the people in the North East surveyed fear that a loved one could be struck down with a potentially life-threatening heart attack or stroke in the future.
Almost 37 per cent of people have already lost someone or know a loved one affected by heart disease, while 78 per cent said they know someone in their family with one of the major risk factors for heart disease.
Despite this, 40 per cent of people in the North East said although they might worry about a loved one’s health they’re too afraid to talk to them about it; forty-seven per cent say they’re reluctant to talk about health issues with loved ones for fear of upsetting someone.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Heart disease can strike anyone at any age, without warning. That’s why it’s vital we do everything we can to reduce our risk and protect our hearts against these devastating conditions.
“This survey highlights just how important it is for us to talk about the UK’s biggest killer with our friends and family.
“Too many lives are cut short by heart disease every year. We urgently need to accelerate research into finding new ways to fight it.
“By signing up to Wear it. Beat it., you can help fund cutting-edge research to better understand, treat and predict who is at risk.”
The BHF’s Wear it. Beat it. campaign aims to raise £1m this February 5 to help fund new life-saving research in the fight against heart disease.
The charity is calling on everyone to wear red and hold a fundraising event to help save more lives and protect more families from the devastation of heart disease.
As many as 358,000 people are living with heart and circulatory disease in the North East.
Since 2009 the campaign has raised over £6m towards new cardiovascular science. Last year more than 23,000 people took part in Wear it. Beat it. and the BHF are calling for even more people to get involved this year to help raise £1m for life saving research.
Sign up online at www.bhf.org.uk/red or call 0300 330 0645, and get your free fundraising pack full of fun ideas about how to get involved.