CQC Press release

CQC report rates Dorset Heart Clinic as “GOOD” overall but also recognises outstanding practice

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded Dorset Heart Clinic the overall rating of “GOOD” in their first report of the independent healthcare provider since its foundation in 2017.

Dorset Heart Clinic also won praise from the CQC for its innovative use of medical technology in delivering diagnostic procedures, and for developing enhanced systems to improve both patient outcome monitoring and patient feedback.

Under the heading of “Outstanding Practice”, the CQC reported: “The service used technology in innovative ways to enhance diagnostic procedures and had introduced enhanced systems to monitor patient outcomes, including opportunities for patients to provide feedback.”

Commending clinical teams for the quality of specialist care they provide and for the compassion shown to patients, the CQC reported that: “Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.”

The CQC report also commented on the consistent high levels of patient feedback provided by the service, stating: “Patients and relatives gave positive feedback about the service. Feedback data consistently showed patients rated highly the care provided by the service.

Feedback from patients included: “I cannot fault the treatment I received from the staff on the ward, in the theatre and from the administration” and “an excellent service, staff very professional and personable. I couldn’t have wished for better.”

Staff were also commended for their commitment to learning and understanding of quality improvements. The report stated: “Staff were committed to continually learning and improving services. They had a good understanding of quality improvement methods and the skills to use them. Leaders encouraged innovation and participation in research.”

Dorset Heart Clinic LLP Board members welcomed the CQC report.

Dr Ohri, CEO of Dorset Heart Clinic said: “This is our first CQC report since we opened in 2017 and we are extremely pleased that the professionalism and continued commitment to providing exceptional care for our patients has been recognised in this way.”

Dr Jehangir Din, Clinical Director of both Dorset Heart Clinic and the Cardiology Department of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust said: “It was clear to the CQC that we are an organisation that steadfastly prioritises one thing above all else: delivering the best possible care to patients with heart disease. Whatever else changes in the environment around us, patients will remain our focus, and our commitment to them will guide everything that we do.”

Mr Pete Papworth, designated Trust board member of the LLP and Chief Financial Officer for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust said: “This report and the overall rating of “good” is a fantastic achievement for Dorset Heart Clinic since being founded only a few years ago. I look forward to working with Dorset Heart Clinic to continue the actions taken following this review to help provide the best services for our patients.”

For further details and to read the full report, please go to: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/1-3550707911/services

EP Award

Dorset Heart Clinic announces University Hospitals Dorset has joined exclusive list of Global Heart Centres of Excellence

Dorset Heart Clinic is proud to announce its NHS partner, University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) has been named as one of only nine ‘Centres of Excellence’ in the world for the treatment of a debilitating heart condition, called Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

UHD joins world-renowned cardiology centres including those at London’s Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital and Stanford University in the US, who are also on the list.

SVT is a rapid abnormal heartbeat caused by defects in the electrical system that controls the heart’s rhythm. Patients can experience a sudden rise in heart rate from a resting rate of 60 beats per minute to more than 200, leading to breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, a pounding heart and extreme anxiety.

Arrhythmia Alliance – a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, carers, medical groups, and allied health professionals – has now awarded UHD ‘Centre of Excellence’ status, in recognition of their treatment success rates – 95 per cent of patients are permanently cured of the condition – as well as an active research programme which has seen a number of scientific papers published.

The condition is treated using a technique called catheter ablation – wires are inserted from the top of the leg and guided to the heart, enabling the detection of abnormal circuits which are then cauterised.

SVT can be frightening and incapacitating, says Dr Richard Bala, consultant in electrophysiology and clinical lead in cardiac rhythm management, based at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, part of UHD.

“It’s debilitating for sufferers,” he said. “It causes unpredictable episodes of breathlessness, chest pounding and a feeling that they are about to black out, which patients can experience anything from just a few times each year to more than once a day.”

More than 300 patients with SVT from across Dorset, west Hampshire and Wiltshire have been successfully treated over the last year after undergoing catheter ablation for the condition, and more than 95 per cent of patients are permanently cured.

Ann Blake, from Bournemouth, was treated in May this year.

“My heart problems started when I had treatment for cancer 21 years ago,” explains Ann.

“The cardiology team picked up on the fact I was experiencing episodes of fast heart rhythms in my sleep – it occurred to me that it wasn’t nightmares that had been causing me to wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling of sheer panic, it was a heart problem.

“It would come on at any time, in the shower, in front of the television, anywhere – and it was frightening. I wondered each time if it was the start of a heart attack.

“Since having the treatment I haven’t had a single episode, and I don’t have to worry about one coming on unexpectedly.

“The cardiology team at Royal Bournemouth, from start to finish and throughout Covid-19, have all been incredible.”

Dr Bala says stories like Ann’s have helped the service receive worldwide attention. “This accreditation is a reflection of the hard work and enthusiasm of our team in providing the very best care for our patients – we are very proud.”

If you have any heart concerns or symptoms and would like to be reviewed, please contact the Dorset Heart Clinic to be seen by one of our expert cardiologists. We will always provide an appointment within a few days of being contacted.

Dr O’Kane Editor

Dorset Heart Clinic Consultant Cardiologist named Editor-in-Chief of Prestigious Global Cardiology Journal

Dr Peter O’Kane, a Dorset Heart Clinic consultant interventional cardiologist has been named editor-in-chief of the global medical journal, Interventional Cardiology: Reviews, Research and Resources.

Dr Peter O’Kane will edit the journal – which contains evidence-based and peer-reviewed content showcasing the best research and innovation in cardiology from around the world – alongside his role as a cardiologist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, part of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust.

The print and online journal allows clinicians to share information and cardiology updates quickly while also playing host to live educational events and teaching sessions.

Dr O’Kane said: “During the pandemic, medial professionals relied heavily on quick, reliable information and this has continued. Being the editor-in-chief allows our trust to network with professionals and researchers from around the world and brings the newest innovative studies and trials directly into our hospitals.”

Continuing the trust’s contribution to education, research and practice, the cardiology department takes part in many international studies such as interventional trials, electrophysiology trials and heart failure studies. While in treatment, patients are offered clinical trials and many patients have given their time to help further research.

Dr O’Kane added: “For me, getting this position is a reflection on how fantastic the cardiology unit is and how much we contribute as a team. I am eager to use my cardiology experience to help develop the medical journal and I am optimistic about the opportunities this will bring into the Trust.”

If you have any heart concerns or symptoms and would like to be reviewed, please contact the Dorset Heart Clinic to be seen by one of our expert cardiologists. We will always provide an appointment within a few days of being contacted.

There’s no such thing as ‘too fit’

News from the World of Cardiovascular Research

Publisher: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Having reduced cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is as harmful to survival as coronary artery disease, smoking cigarettes or diabetes, suggests a retrospective study published Oct. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers analyzed data from 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing, and stratified those individuals into five CRF groups based on how they stacked up against the average person of their age and sex: low (below 25th percentile), below average (25th-49th percentile), above average (50th-74th percentile), high (75th-97.6th percentile) and elite (97.7th percentile or higher).

Elite performers were 80 percent less likely to die than low performers over the median follow-up of 8.4 years. They were even 23 percent more likely to survive than high performers, an important finding considering recent evidence has suggested extreme amounts of exercise might actually be harmful. In this study, there appeared to be no upper limit for the benefit of increased CRF.

“Potentially adverse cardiovascular findings in highly active cohorts, including an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, coronary artery calcification, myocardial fibrosis, and aortic dilation, have raised concern for potential cardiovascular risk above a certain exercise or training threshold,” wrote lead author Kyle Mandsager, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and colleagues. “It remains unclear whether these associations are signals of true pathologic findings or rather benign features of cardiovascular adaptation. The present study is the first, to our knowledge, to specifically evaluate the association between extremely high CRF and long-term mortality.”

The researchers noted their study is also different from many previous reports because it uses an objective measure of physical fitness rather than self-reported activity levels. Also, genetic factors and other lifestyle habits may contribute to both aerobic fitness and improved survival, they wrote.

Upon multivariable adjustment, Mandsager et al. found participants with below-average CRF versus above-average CRF had 41 percent decreased odds of survival—a risk on par with smoking or diabetes, and even greater than coronary artery disease (29 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality). And the survival odds were even greater for people with CRFs categorized as high or elite for their age and sex.

“These findings not only reinforce the large collective body of evidence correlating aerobic fitness with numerous health benefits but also illustrate the importance of aerobic fitness as a powerful, modifiable indicator of long-term mortality,” the authors wrote. “Healthcare professionals should encourage patients to achieve and maintain high levels of fitness.”

If you have any heart concerns or symptoms and would like to be reviewed, please contact the Dorset Heart Clinic to be seen by one of our expert cardiologists. We will always provide an appointment within a few days of being contacted.

Clot-busting drugs prevent 4,000 strokes each year

News from the World of Cardiovascular Research

Publisher: European Heart Journal

Half a million people in the UK are living with the undiagnosed heart rhythm disorder — Atrial Fibrillation — unaware they are at greater risk of having a stroke.

Increased use of anticoagulant drugs in patients who have a common heart rhythm disorder prevented four thousand strokes in England between 2015 and 2016.

The analysis — part-funded by us and published today in the European Heart Journal (EHJ) is re-assuring for patients who suffer from the condition known as atrial fibrillation, and a major success story for stroke prevention.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects around 1.2 million people in the UK, with 500,000 people believed to be living undiagnosed and unaware that they are at a 5-fold higher risk of stroke compared to those unaffected.

The findings highlight the urgent need for better screening and diagnosis of AF to ensure patients receive the clot-busting treatment which could prevent a devastating stroke.

Professor Chris Gale, Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Leeds commented on net next steps:

“Sudden strokes in people who have AF are unnecessarily common. Treatments which prevent AF-related strokes are saving lives, but there are still many thousands of people in the UK living with undiagnosed AF who are missing out.

The BHF-funded team from the University of Leeds used national data to analyse the known patients with AF, people seeing a consultant for stroke, new AF diagnoses and the use of anticoagulants amongst high risk patients between 2006 and 2016.

They found that, since 2009, the number of people with AF who are being treated with anticoagulants has more than doubled.

The researchers estimate that, had the uptake of anticoagulants stayed at 2009 levels, there would have been around 4,000 more strokes in patients with AF in England in the 2015/16 financial year.

Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the UK and the leading cause of disability and in 2016, killed almost twice as many women as breast cancer.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat; it causes the heart’s chambers to beat in an uncoordinated, irregular manner. AF can cause blood to pool in the heart, which can form into a blood clot. It this clot travels to the brain it can block the blood supply, leading to a stroke.

AF contributes to between 20–30 per cent of all strokes, and treating these patients with anticoagulants — drugs which slow the formation of blood clots — can cut patients’ risk of stroke by two thirds.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, our Medical director points out the importance of spotting AF:

“Spotting AF is surprisingly easy; all it takes is a simple pulse check. A normal heart beat will feel regular, but if you find yours is irregular or random, go and see your GP. It could save your life,”

So why have things improved? The researchers say the reason more people are taking anticoagulant drugs is likely thanks to efforts across the health service to educate patients and doctors about the benefits of anticoagulation. It also comes down to changes to guidelines in the UK and Europe, and the development of new types of anticoagulants which provide a safer and more convenient alternative to warfarin.

Richard, a 47-year-old father of two from Dorset, was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation four years ago. After a Saturday morning coffee, he had sensations of butterflies in his chest. When it didn’t go away after a few hours, and he started to feel abnormally tired, he took himself to A&E.

“I had a heart attack when I was 36, so I knew I needed to get things checked. It was a complete shock when the doctors told me my heart was beating at between 170 and 200bpm. I could barely tell.

If you have any heart concerns or symptoms and would like to be reviewed, please contact the Dorset Heart Clinic to be seen by one of our expert cardiologists. We will always provide an appointment within a few days of being contacted.

Genetic tool to predict adult heart attack risk in childhood

News from the World of Cardiovascular Research

Publisher: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

People at high risk of a heart attack in adulthood could be spotted much earlier in life with a one-off DNA test, according to new research which we part-funded, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

An international team led by researchers from the University of Leicester, University of Cambridge and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia used UK Biobank data to develop and test a powerful scoring system, called a Genomic Risk Score (GRS) which can identify people who are at risk of developing coronary heart disease prematurely because of their genetics.

People who are at high risk could be encouraged to make important lifestyle changes from an early age and be offered lifesaving medicines on a case to case basis, should they be necessary.

Genetic factors have long been known to be major contributors of someone’s risk of developing coronary heart disease – the leading cause of heart attacks. In today’s health system, doctors identify those at risk doctors use scores based on lifestyle and clinical conditions associated with coronary heart disease such as cholesterol level, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. But these scores are imprecise, age-dependent and miss a large proportion of people who appear ‘healthy’, but will still develop the disease.

1.7 million genetic variants in a person’s DNA

The ‘big-data’ GRS technique takes into account 1.7 million genetic variants in a person’s DNA to calculate their underlying genetic risk for coronary heart disease.

The team analysed genomic data of nearly half a million people from the UK Biobank research project aged between 40-69 years. This included over 22,000 people who had coronary heart disease.

A powerful tool

The GRS was better at predicting someone’s risk of developing heart disease than each of the classic risk factors for coronary heart disease alone. The ability of the GRS to predict coronary heart disease was also largely independent of these known risk factors. This showed that the genes which increase the risk of coronary heart disease don’t simply work by elevating blood pressure or cholesterol, for example.

People with a genomic risk score in the top 20 per cent of the population were over four-times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone with a genomic risk score in the bottom 20 per cent.

In fact, men who appeared healthy by current NHS health check standards but had a high GRS were just as likely to develop coronary heart disease as someone with a low GRS and two conventional risk factors like high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

These findings help to explain why people with healthy lifestyles and no conventional risk factors can still be struck by a devastating heart attack.

Crucially, the GRS can be measured at any age including childhood as your DNA does not change. This means that those at high risk can be identified much earlier than is possible through current methods and can be targeted for prevention with lifestyle changes and, where necessary, medicines. The GRS is also a one-time test and with the cost of genotyping to calculate the GRS now less than £40 GBP ($50 USD) it is within the capability of many health services to provide.

Our medical director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester was a senior author of the study and gave his thoughts:

“At the moment we assess people for their risk of coronary heart disease in their 40’s through NHS health checks. But we know this is imprecise and also that coronary heart disease starts much earlier, several decades before symptoms develop. Therefore if we are going to do true prevention, we need to identify those at increased risk much earlier.

“This study shows that the GRS can now identify such individuals. Applying it could provide a most cost effective way of preventing the enormous burden of coronary heart disease, by helping doctors select patients who would most benefit from interventions and avoiding unnecessary screening and treatments for those unlikely to benefit.”

Lead author Dr Michael Inouye, of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and University of Cambridge also commented on the findings:

“The completion of the first human genome was only 15 years ago. Today, the combination of data science and massive-scale genomic cohorts has now greatly expanded the potential of healthcare.

“While genetics is not destiny for coronary heart disease, advances in genomic prediction have brought the long history of heart disease risk screening to a critical juncture, where we may now be able to predict, plan for, and possibly avoid a disease with substantial morbidity and mortality.”

Today, we are just beginning to harness the enormous potential of genomic medicine. Within the next decade scientists anticipate to see this kind of technology bringing countless benefits to the lives of patients.

If you have any heart concerns or symptoms and would like to be reviewed, please contact the Dorset Heart Clinic to be seen by one of our expert cardiologists. We will always provide an appointment within a few days of being contacted.

Dorset Heart Clinic selected to receive another national award for Public Private Partnership of the Year

WILTSHIRE, United Kingdom, Regent’s Park Healthcare Ltd., an independent healthcare company specialising in the delivery of cardiac services, today announced that the Dorset Heart Clinic has been selected as a finalist in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the Year category at the 2018 LaingBuisson Independent Healthcare Awards.

Entering their thirteenth year, the Independent Healthcare Awards which are sponsored by LaingBuisson (LB) are widely considered to be the most prestigious event in the healthcare sector calendar. The citation in the PPP award category reads: “For excellence in a strategic partnership between the public and independent sectors with a focus on outcomes, value for money and innovation.”

The judging panel aims to highlight the range of achievements within the independent healthcare sector and to pay tribute to those individuals and teams who have demonstrated outstanding excellence. LB are a leading independent provider of market intelligence to the independent sector and considered to have the expertise to identify and honour the best performing care providers in an industry where the independent sector is taking an ever more important role.

Commenting on the nomination, Dr. Ohri, CEO of Regent’s Park said: “It is a tremendous privilege to be nominated by LaingBuisson for these highly prestigious awards”. He added: “I believe the nomination is an endorsement of our business development strategy that is committed to finding efficient, high quality, and smarter ways of delivering healthcare with our NHS partners”.

Last year LB received over 350 nominations, with the winners on the night receiving their Awards in front of an audience of over 850 of their peers. The Awards will be hosted at the London Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in sight of the Houses of Parliament on 15th November 2018.

British Heart Foundation scientists develop tool for spotting deadly sepsis in people who have heart failure

News from the World of Cardiovascular Research

Publisher: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Nearly one in four deaths in people with heart failure are caused by sepsis, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers we fund have developed a way to identify patients who are most at risk, often years before they become ill.

The team hope the tool will help doctors determine which patients may benefit from closer monitoring and help to ensure they receive rapid treatment when they fall ill. Sepsis is a very serious complication of an infection. Without treatment it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Catching cases early could save thousands of lives every year.

1 in 4 deaths

Professor Richard Cubbon, from the University of Leeds who led the study said, “We have created a simple way to identify people with heart failure who are at greatest risk of dying from sepsis. It could be part of a routine check which is already performed when they visit their doctors.”

With our risk profile, we hope people at high risk of sepsis will receive better monitoring, and infections which could lead to sepsis are treated early.”

550,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with heart failure, but estimates suggest there may be many more cases.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it should, most commonly when the heart muscle has been damaged – for example, after a heart attack. Around 550,000 people have been diagnosed with heart failure in the UK, but estimates suggest that in reality this figure is much higher. The debilitating condition causes breathlessness, fatigue and premature death. People who have heart failure are also more vulnerable to potentially deadly infections.

Researchers from the University of Leeds tracked 1,802 patients with chronic heart failure from 2006 to 2014 for an average of four years. The scientists collected information about each patient at the beginning of the study. During the study, 737 patients died, with 173 (23.5 per cent) deaths caused by sepsis.

The team analysed this data and found several distinct markers which flagged higher risk of death from sepsis specifically, rather than progressively worsening heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest.

Blood samples from high-risk patients contained lower levels of vitamin D and higher counts of platelets – cells which help blood clot. Those at high risk were also older, more likely to have chronic lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and more likely to be male.

The researchers used this data to create a ‘risk profile’ which could be used in future to flag patients at highest risk of dying from sepsis. These patients could receive counselling, closer monitoring by their GP and vaccines to prevent respiratory infections – the root cause of 70 per cent of sepsis cases in the study.

Sepsis, sometimes called blood poisoning, occurs when the immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection and starts attacking the body’s own cells, causing damage to vital organs. It can take hold quickly and, without rapid treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Our medical director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation also commented on the study.

“This observational study re-emphasises that, despite modern treatments, people with heart failure have a prognosis that is worse than many cancers with 2 out of 5 people dying within 4 years.

“The new finding here is that sepsis is an important cause of death in these patients accounting for almost 1 in 4 deaths. We also now know that particular characteristics of the patients, some of which may be correctable, makes them more prone to developing sepsis.

“Further research is necessary but this study highlights potentially important ways in which we may be able to improve the outlook of patients with heart failure.”

Dorset Heart Clinic shortlisted as finalist at the 2018 HealthInvestor Awards

BOURNEMOUTH, United Kingdom, 3 April 2018: Regent’s Park Healthcare and The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation have been shortlisted as Finalist in the Public Private Partnership of the Year category at the 2018 HealthInvestor Awards. The award relates to their partnership called the ‘Dorset Heart Clinic’.

Dorset Heart Clinic is a brand new, state-of-the-art, private patient cardiology centre located within the Royal Bournemouth Hospital that opened in April 2017. The clinic is the largest dedicated private cardiology centre on the south coast of England.

This innovative strategic partnership between the two organisations ensures that private patients receive the ‘best-of-both-worlds’: world-class specialist care and the very highest standard of service, together with the confidence of being in the NHS with its safety-net of services on hand – a vast array of specialist equipment and staff often lacking in a private hospital. It also allows profits from the treatment of private patients to be re-invested back into frontline NHS care.

In summary, the Dorset Heart Clinic business model is a highly innovative and disruptive approach to the delivery of private cardiac services across the UK. It provides a novel blueprint on how the public and private sectors can co-exist in the delivery of safe, high quality and efficient care.

Background to the HealthInvestor Awards:

  • The HealthInvestor Awards is the biggest event of the year for the independent health industry.
  • The forum is designed to promote excellence and recognise innovation in the independent healthcare sector and attracts over 1,200 guests each year to the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. This year, the judges will be looking for organisations and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to healthcare in 2017.
  • The HealthInvestor Awards offer an opportunity to showcase expertise and commitment to what is an increasingly important sector for the UK economy. The awards are aimed at those professionals investing in, advising or operating companies in the health and social care and the finalists represent the leading players in this diverse and burgeoning market.
  • Successful entries are shortlisted on the awards website before being sent to an independent panel of high profile judges. Finalists and other firms active in the health sector will then have the opportunity to attend a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London’s largest prestige events venue.

For more information please visit the Dorset Heart Clinic website: www.dorsetheartclinic.co.uk or contact the Dorset Heart Clinic on 01202 705454.

Common Myths and The Facts on Heart Attacks

Not only are heart attacks dangerous because they interrupt blood supply to the heart—they are dangerous because of the misconceptions many people are why they happen and when to seek care. To help clear the air around heart attacks we’ve gathered the 5 myths we hear most frequently and have addressed each with facts.

Remember: If you suspect the symptoms of a heart attack, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Don’t worry if you have doubts. Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.

Myth 1

A person having a heart attack always feels sharp pain and numbness in the arm.
Heart attack symptoms vary widely and chest pain and numbness are not always present. Other symptoms can include difficulty breathing, sweating, a cold or clammy feeling, nausea or vomiting, fluttering in the chest or light-headedness. Women in particular often do not experience ‘classic’ symptoms. Fatigue, palpitations and sometimes a less intense chest pain is often reported by women having a heart attack.

Myth 2

During a heart attack, the heart stops beating.
Sometimes the heart stops beating, but not always. During a heart attack, the heart muscle begins to die. The heart may continue to beat but the situation is serious and you must seek urgent medical care.

Myth 3

A young, healthy person with normal cholesterol will not have a heart attack.
A person with normal cholesterol level is less likely to experience a heart attack, but no one is immune. Many factors contribute to heart attack risk including your genetic makeup. Even young people can have heart attacks.

Myth 4

Heart disease is a man’s disease.
Cardiovascular disease kills the same proportion of women as it does men—that’s over a quarter of all men and women. In fact, coronary heart disease (a type of cardiovascular disease) kills more than twice as many women than breast cancer. Considering these figures it’s worrying that some women believe that heart disease won’t affect them, instead believing it’ll only affect middle-aged men.

Myth 5

Coughing vigorously during a heart attack could save your life.
There is no medical evidence to support ‘couch CPR’, which suggests you can help yourself by couching vigorously if you think you’re having a heart attack and are alone. If you have a cardiac arrest you would become unconscious, and without immediate CPS (chest compressions and rescue breaths), you would die. If you are still conscious (able to do ‘cough CPR’, then you are not in cardiac arrest and therefore CPR is not needed, but urgent medical help is vital.
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