10 February 2022

Help is a heartbeat away

February is National Heart Month in the UK

According to the British Heart Foundation, 7.6 million people in the UK are living with heart and circulatory disease and they estimate more than half of us will get a heart or circulatory condition in our lifetime.

Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart including:
  • Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
  • Heart valve disease
  • Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart infection

What are the risk factors of heath disease?

  • High cholesterol
    Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood. Too much of it can increase your risk of heart and circulatory diseases.
  • High blood pressure
    High blood pressure is also called hypertension. Knowing your blood pressure could save your life.
  • Diabetes
    Diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels. This can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Obesity
    Being overweight can have a significant impact on your health, especially if you carry weight around your middle.
  • Smoking
    Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack than people who have never smoked.
  • Physical inactivity
    The heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs physical activity to help it work properly.
The good news is many heart and circulatory diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified.

Ways to control or reduce the chances of heart disease

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Be physically active
  • Keep to a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke or give up if you do
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Keep your blood pressure under control
  • Keep your diabetes under control

How the ECIS Private Medical scheme can help

If you are concerned about your heart’s health, you need to speak to someone as soon as possible. Heart disease is not something you can ignore. When you’re busy, it may feel like you don’t have the time and you convince yourself it is something that will go away. So Bupa have launched a remote Cardaic Assessment Service that means you can find out if there’s anything wrong from the comfort of your armchair.

BUPA developed the service amid growing concerns from cardiologists that thousands of people may be putting themselves at greater risk of long-term heart damage having delayed seeking medical help during the pandemic.

How it works

  1. Once you have a GP referral, contact the BUPA cardiac support team.
  2. The specialist triage team for the service will ask a series of questions about your cardiac concerns to help determine the right course of action and book a video consultation with a cardiologist appropriate for their symptoms.
  3. A video consultation will be arranged within 36 hours of the triage, and the specialist will be able to rule out any serious cardiac conditions if there’s nothing to worry about.
  4. If you need further tests to support the diagnosis, they can offer to send tests that can be done from the comfort of your home, if they are appropriate for your case. In some cases, In-clinic diagnostic tests may still be required.
  5. After a follow-up video consultation to discuss test results, your will be discharged if there is no need for further treatment with a detailed medical report sent back to the GP.
For more information on the ECIS private medical insurance scheme, visit our website at www.ecins.co.uk or contact us at 0330 221 0241