Managing your heart health

Managing your heart health is crucial to maintaining a long and healthy life. Depending on your family history, and lifestyle factors, you may be more at risk from cardiovascular disease. Our experts have pulled together some key information that you can use to know what the best course of action is for you.

Why is heart health important?

A healthy heart is central to overall good health. Being conscious what affects your heart health is crucial to understanding how your lifestyle affects your overall health, and what can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease over time.

Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. The most common cardiovascular diseases are heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrythmia, and heart valve complications. According to the British Heart Foundation, there are roughly 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, causing an average of 450 deaths every day.

With cardiovascular diseases causing a quarter of all deaths in the UK, it’s clear that individuals managing their heart health is of utmost importance. Fortunately, the OneWelbeck Heart Health team is here to help patients do just that.

What are the danger signs to look out for?

The main indicators that you might be suffering from heart complications are listed below. Each symptom is linked to a full page of information where you can find out more about booking consultations.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, we recommend either booking a consultation with one of our cardiologists, or alternatively seeking advice from your GP. If you experience a sudden onset of any of these symptoms and they do not fade, call 999 immediately.

What if I don’t have any symptoms?

Not everyone with sub-optimal heart health suffers from symptoms. For example, you may have high cholesterol, which over time leads to an increased risk of a stroke. Or you may have high blood pressure, which can cause serious damage to the blood vessels. The best way of knowing whether you are at risk from cardiovascular disease is to book a screening appointment at OneWelbeck Heart Health, where a combination of diagnostic tests and a full report from the medical team will show you how healthy your heart is, and whether you need to make any lifestyle changes to reduce your risk levels. This assessment is also suitable for patients who have a family history of heart disease or diabetes.

The Heart Health Screen costs £495 and includes one appointment at our London centre where all tests are carried out, and one follow-up consultation with a cardiac nurse to go through your personalised report and advice on how to manage your risk in the future, including any suggested lifestyle changes or medical recommendations. If needed, the team will help make a referral to other specialists within the OneWelbeck group, such as endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dietitians.

Is there a way to tell which course of action to take?

We have created a simple-to-use flowchart that will show you which course of action best suits you and your current needs. Click the bottom-right button to see a full-screen version.

Actions to take for your heart health

Is there anything I can do in my day-to-day life that would help my heart health?

In a word: yes.

What you do on a daily basis can impact your heart health and your risk of cardiovascular disease, so now is as good a time as any to start making any necessary changes to enjoy a healthy and active life. The NHS has the following recommendations:

  • Give up smoking – smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after quitting smoking, your risk of suffering a heart attack falls to about half of that of a smoker.
  • Get active – at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
  • Manage your weight – stick to a balanced diet that is low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, which when combined with regular physical exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Eat more fibre – this is proven to lower your risk of heart disease. Aim for at least 30g per day from a variety of sources, such as wholegrain cereals and bran.
  • Cut down on saturated fat – fewer saturated fats means a lower cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg per day – all of the fibre, vitamins and minerals will help maintain a healthy circulatory system.
  • Cut down on salt – keep salt levels in your food to a minimum to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Eat fish – oily fish such as sardines and salmon are rich in omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease.
  • Drink less alcohol – the national guidance is to not exceed 14 units of alcohol a week. A higher intake can lead to raised cholesterol and other complications that lead to heart disease.

In addition to this, our cardiology consultants have written a variety of articles to help our customers better understand the various symptoms and conditions we see on a daily basis. Click on the links below to find out more.