May 17, 2012
1 in 3 cholesterol patients put their hearts at
survey of heart patients has shown more than a third of people with
high cholesterol fail to take their medication for the condition
- dramatically increasing their risk of heart problems.
Triple the risk
Having high cholesterol triples your risk of having a heart
attack so it’s vital anyone prescribed drugs to lower their levels
takes them as directed.
Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical
Director and resident GP says: “Millions of people could be
putting their lives in danger by not taking their medicines as
“Having high cholesterol or high blood
pressure are major risk factors for developing heart and
circulatory disease, which is still the UK’s biggest killer, yet we
found people with these conditions were often oblivious to the
“We want to remind people how vital heart
medicines are - even if they feel well and don’t have obvious
symptoms. And we want them to know they can talk to us if they’ve
got questions about their medications."
'Just like that'
My father had his life snatched away from him but it could have been avoided
have enlisted national treasure Tommy Cooper to encourage
people to take control of their medication.
The comedian famously and tragically died on stage from a heart
attack, and we hope his catchphrase ‘just like that’ will prevent
others suffering the same fate.
Vicky Cooper, Tommy’s
daughter, says: “My father had his life snatched away from him but
it could have been avoided. My advice now is always that you
shouldn’t delay. Don’t keep making excuses. If you think something
might be wrong, get yourself checked. You’re not being a
“If you know you should be taking medication
then take it, and prevent your life being snatched away
More than 30 million people suffer from
high cholesterol in the UK, while 14 million are affected by high
blood pressure. These conditions are known as invisible killers
because they don’t have symptoms but slowly damage blood vessels in
the heart and make it easier for potentially deadly clots to form
causing a heart attack or stroke.
It’s estimated that 45% of heart attacks in
Western Europe are caused by high cholesterol while 22% are caused
by high blood pressure.
As part of the campaign, radio adverts
featuring recordings of Tommy Cooper will air on national and local
radio stations, while his face and famous catchphrase ‘just like
that’ will be used on leaflets in magazines and others dropped
Anyone struggling with their medication can
phone our heart nurses for support and information on 0300
333 1 333.