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February is National Heart Month, the British Heart Foundation’s annual campaign to raise awareness of heart diseases.
In the UK, there are seven million people living with cardiovascular disease, which includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation, such as coronary heart disease, the UK’s biggest killer.
According to The Heart Research Institute, there are 620,000 people currently suffering from heart disease in Scotland, resulting in more than 18,500 deaths every year.
Although death rates in Scotland have fallen more than 40 per cent over the past decade, they are still high compared to rates in Western Europe, Japan and Australia.
Making small changes to your daily routine, like trying new fruits or walking to work, can make a big difference to your heart health.
That’s why this year, British Heart Foundation, the UK’s largest heart charity, is asking people to take on its 10 Minute Challenge.
As part of the 10 Minute Challenge, the charity will email participants one simple challenge, which take a maximum of 10 minutes to complete, every morning for 10 days.
For the next 10 days, our staff at YourGP private medical practice in Edinburgh will be taking on the 10 Minute Challenge.
We’ll be sharing our photos on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #10MinChallenge so make sure you keep an eye out for them.
Of course, that’s not the only thing we’re doing to help prevent and manage heart disease.
We provide a wide range of GP services at YourGP, including a range of tests, assessments and specialist treatments.
Our medical assessments include height, weight and blood pressure tests, cardiovascular and respiratory assessments and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check for heart problems.
As well as offering annual medical assessments for individuals, we can also provide employee healthcare check-ups for businesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
There are several ‘risk factors’ for heart disease, including smoking, obesity and diabetes, as well as alcohol and stress.
Although drinking modest amounts of alcohol can protect heart health, drinking more than the recommended amount can have a harmful effect on your heart.
In Scotland, alcohol dependency is a huge health concern, with many Scots drinking more than the recommended daily limits (3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 for women).
At YourGP, we provide help to people looking to stop drinking and recover from alcoholism. One of the most effective ways of doing so is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help you to learn new skills in order to cope with life more effectively.
Some studies have also suggested that stress can contribute to heart disease – and our specialist counselling therapists can help you explore any difficulties or specific problems you are having in any aspect of your life.
Want to find out more about improving your heart health? Request an appointment or call us on 0131 225 5656.
To keep up-to-date with more of our blog posts and our #10MinChallenge pictures, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
My medical was conducted in detail and I had a thorough check. The doctor listened to me and gave me some extra tips that are helpful. Most impressed.