How to stop one condition leading to another

Heart disease is connected with many other illnesses. This means that one condition can lead to another. 

In the video below we meet four inspirational people with a heart or circulatory condition, who have made small and positive changes to their lifestyles to reduce their risk of getting a more serious linked condition. 

Meet Jasmine, Kim, Mark and Sulakhan. 

High blood pressure to mini stroke: Jasmine's story

Jasmine was shocked to learn that her high blood pressure contributed to her mini stroke. The risk of getting something more serious such as vascular dementia and other conditions has encouraged her to make lifestyle changes. 

As well as taking medication regularly, exercise is an integrated part of her life.  “I swim every Sunday, yoga on Tuesday, I cycle once a week, and I know that’s been part of the process of bringing my blood pressure down.” Jasmine says. 

Type 2 diabetes to bypass surgery: Mark's story

Six months after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Mark had a quadruple heart bypass. Before he was diagnosed with diabetes, he considered himself to have a healthy lifestyle.  He had a balanced diet and frequently walked to work. 

“I was completely shocked. I was worried about what the future meant for my young family” Mark explains. As well as learning how to control his diabetes through diet, Mark is now an avid cyclist. “Ultimately it’s good for my heart rate and keeping the weight off, and it’s something that I’m lucky enough to enjoy” Mark says.

Atrial fibrillation to a mini stroke: Kim's story

It was three years after Kim was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation that he had a mini stroke. 

In an attempt to lower his blood pressure and live a healthier lifestyle, Kim now eats more fresh fruit and vegetables and follows a low-fat diet. He’s also given up alcohol after discovering that drinking set off his atrial fibrillation. “Last Easter I stopped drinking alcohol which has been quite a lot easier than I thought.  I know that if I don’t keep up with the lifestyle changes and keep taking regular medication, then I’m at much greater risk of future heart problems or a full blown stroke caused by the atrial fibrillation.”

High cholesterol to heart attack: Sulakhan's story 

Sulakhan thought he was healthy when he had his heart attack back in 2007. Being told that it was due to high cholesterol made him realise that he needed to change his eating habits. 

“I used to eat ice-cream with a lot of double cream on it.” he says.  

Sulakhan, a keen gardener, now exercises daily and eats healthier food. His family have supported him all the way. “I say to everybody, if you’ve got high cholesterol, please do everything to bring it down, stay healthy” he explains. 

We fund research to keep hearts beating and blood flowing

What connects heart diseases, diabetesstroke and vascular dementia? Your circulatory system and our research. 

Heart and circulatory conditions are linked by your blood not flowing properly. That’s why our research starts with your heart but doesn’t stop there

Thanks to our research, today more people than ever survive heart and circulatory diseases. But these conditions still cause heartbreak for millions of families – killing 1 in 4 people. We will change that.

In the decades since we were founded in 1961, we’ve learnt a lot about the heart. The more we’ve learnt, the more we’ve established the connections it has to the rest of the body. And the more we’ve understood the importance of looking at the whole body to find preventions, cures and treatments.

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