Published: Friday, 8th June, 2012 4:49pm
Dr Angie Brown, medical director, Irish Heart Foundation.
Men's Health Week, June 11-17
To mark Men's Health Week, starting Monday June 11, the Irish Heart Foundation calls on the nation's men to 'listen to your heart, not your head' and to make their first instinct to call 999 at the first sign of heart attack.
According to the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke, too often men delay in calling 999 for emergency treatment if they think they are having a heart attack. It is estimated that only half (50%) of all heart attack cases will present to hospital by ambulance.
Dr Angie Brown of the Irish Heart Foundation said: "A heart attack is a serious medical emergency and every minute lost or delayed in getting treatment increases damage to the heart muscle and may even result in death. Too often the signs are ignored until it is too late. Time is often wasted going first to the GP, calling a family member or friend or even by driving yourself to hospital, which is extremely dangerous. We know from emergency departments that they prefer to send a patient home with indigestion than to see someone with a heart attack arrive too late for treatment to be effective. Our message is simple - don't die of embarrassment, 'Listen to your heart, not your head', pick up the phone and dial 999 immediately."
Hard numbers for men to hear:
FOUR men die from heart attack EVERY WEEK before they reach age 65 (CSO 2010).
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), mainly heart attack and stroke, is the no.1 killer of men of all ages in Ireland.
8 out of 10 men over 45 have high cholesterol
7 out of 10 men over 45 have high blood pressure
7 out of 10 men of all ages are overweight or obese
To order a FREE copy of 'A Man's Guide to Heart Health', call the Irish Heart Foundation on 01 6685001 or email email@example.com
Take positive steps to prevent a heart attack
(Taken from 'A man's guide to heart health')
Be active: Get out and do something that raises your pulse for at least half and hour, five days every week. You don't have to run ten miles at Olympic pace, a brisk walk or easy jog will do the job, as long as it's regular.
Eat well: Step away, at least most of the time, from the pizza and chips. Up the intake of fruit and vegetables and try to include some grains, like rice, in your diet. Fish is brilliant. Eat it twice a week- there are really tasty and easy to prepare, fresh and frozen fish (without batter) available in all supermarkets these days.
Watch the weight: Be aware of your healthy range and try to stay within it.
Cut out the fags: After one year of quitting the risk of having a heart attack is cut in half to that of a smoker.
Easy on the booze: Try not to binge and keep under 17 standard drinks a week, the recommended maximum amount for men.
De-stress: Take time for yourself, your family and your friends.
Get to know your GP: Have your GP regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol. Don't wait till it's too late!
Know your family history: Have your parents or close relatives had heart problems?
Know that heart attack symptoms do not always have to follow the Hollywood heart attack. Symptoms can include:
• chest pain
• upper body pain in the jaw, back, neck or arms
• shortness of breath
• loss of consciousness