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Heart beat irregularity condition 'can lead to strokes'

The British Heart Foundation has revealed that more than a million people in the UK now live with a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to strokes.

According to the research:

  • The heart condition causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate, frequently leading to dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Sufferers may also feel palpitations and become very tired
  • A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute when a person is resting, with a regular rhythm
  • Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular
  • If left untreated, atrial fibrillation can significantly increase the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart, which increases the risk of stroke five-fold
  • The BHF said atrial fibrillation is responsible for 22,500 strokes a year in the UK

More than a million affected by heart condition in UK

More than a million affected by a heart condition Credit: Public Health England

More than a million people in the UK now live with a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to strokes.

Data from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shows the UK has, for the first time, topped the million mark in the number of people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The figure is up almost 20% on five years ago. High blood pressure, heart valve disease and binge drinking are among the causes alongside the fact people are living longer.


BHF: More research needed to 'unravel' heart defects

More needs to be done to battle heart defects at birth and prevent babies from dying young, a health charity has said.

The BHF has launched a campaign to raise awareness for the 70,000 children living in the UK with heart defects.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF explained:

The fact 70,000 children are living with heart defects shows that heart disease is not just a problem for adults.

Our research is beginning to unravel how some of these defects occur. But there's still a long way to go. Families need our support in other ways too, to help them understand and come to terms with what's happening to their child.

– Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF

Unhealthy teens warned of heart problems in their 20s

Health problems caused by poor diet could start in adults as early as their twenties, the chief executive of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has warned.

Speaking to Daybreak, Simon Gillespie explained how adults in their 20s could find themselves with heart disease or diabetes if they did not eat healthily and exercise regularly in their teens.

The sorts of things that people are accepting as normal now will actually cause significant problems for our children and teenagers later in life.

And maybe not that much later on in life, either - in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. (Someone's) lifestyle provides a number of risk factors which interact in a number of complex ways.

Nevertheless, if you are overweight or obese, if you don't exercise enough, if you don't have a proper diet, if you have too much sugar - all of these things contribute to it.

– Simon Gillespie

Three-quarters of children not getting five a day

Britain's children are facing a future of poor health because they are eating junk food and not getting enough exercise, a leading health charity has found.

The report by the British Heart Foundation and Oxford University found:

  • Over three-quarters (80 percent) of children aged five to 15 are not getting their recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day.
  • Around two in five 13-year-olds (39 percent of girls and 43 percent of boys) drink a soft drink every day.
  • At least 85 percent of girls and 73 percent of 13-year-old boys do not do an hour of physical activity every day.
  • Almost three-quarters of 13-year-olds (68 percent of girls and 74 percent of boys) watch at least two hours of TV on a weekday.
  • A quarter of children under 15 spend at least six hours every weekend day being inactive.

Fraudsters fine travel arrangements 'attractive' targets

Mark Tanzer, CEO the Association of British Travel Agents said, fraudsters find travel arrangements "attractive" targets because of the large sums of money involved, and the time lapse between the booking and the holiday. He added:

Its particularly distressing for people when they might save up for months or even years for their holiday, or to visit family overseas, only to discover the flight or hotel doesnt exist. Many are left devastated as they cannot afford another holiday. You should always check a companys credentials before you book and if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is.


New advert launched to fight heart disease in the UK

The British Heart Foundation is calling on people across the UK to fight back against heart disease.

The charity has launched a new national campaign which brings together heart patients and scientists to talk about the research which is needed to fight the disease.

The moving TV advert also features the moment that footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered from an on pitch cardiac arrest.

North of the UK has higher death rate for heart disease

New figures from the British Heart Foundation have revealed the inequalities in deaths from heart disease across the country.

Worst heart health towns in the UK (2009 to 2011):

  • Tameside, Greater Manchester has a death rate of 132
  • Ballymoney, Northern Ireland has a death rate of 129
  • Glasgow, Scotland has a death rate of 128
  • Blackburn with Darwen, NW England has a death rate of 127
  • West Dunbartonshire, Scotland has a death rate of 124

Best heart health town in the UK (2009 to 2011):

  • Kensington and Chelsea, London has a death rate of 39

Britain's 'heart disease capital' revealed

Coronary heart disease remains the single biggest killer in the UK.

New figures from the British Heart Foundation have today revealed the staggering inequalities in deaths from heart disease across the country.

The British Heart FOundation has launched a new campaign to fight heart disease Credit: British Heart Foundation

Tameside in Greater Manchester is the UK's "heart disease capital", with the risk of heart disease more than three times higher than in Kensington and Chelsea in London, where people have the healthiest hearts.

Every year in Tameside, there are 132 deaths per every 100,000 people, while in the London borough the figure stands at just 39 per 100,000, a BHF spokesperson said.

Heart charity welcomes plans to ban cigarette branding

The British Heart Foundation's director of policy and communications, Betty McBride, said: "Tobacco advertising is rightly banned in the UK, yet current glitzy packaging clearly still advertises tobacco on the cigarette box.

"It's an absurd loophole the tobacco industry takes full advantage of to lure in new young smokers."

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