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New bid to cut heart disease

PUBLISHED: 02:03 26 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 March 2010

PEOPLE in Ipswich are being encouraged to look after their hearts as part of a new project launched to cut the risk of developing coronary disease.

And the World Heart Federation has warned that physical inactivity may be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

PEOPLE in Ipswich are being encouraged to look after their hearts as part of a new project launched to cut the risk of developing coronary disease.

And the World Heart Federation (WHF) has warned that physical inactivity may be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

A pilot project has been launched by Ipswich Primary Care Trust and is centred on patients of Hawthorn Drive Practice in Chantry.

Advice on healthy eating, exercise and how to stop smoking is to be included in information packs to be given to a group of patients identified as at risk from heart disease, who attend clinics with hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and stress, high cholesterol levels, obesity and people who smoke.

The pack is called Your Way to a Healthier Heart. Patients will work with practice nurses and after 12 weeks will be checked to see if there has been any improvement in their condition.

The launch will take place at the Stables Tea Rooms in Chantry Park today and a guided walk around the park will promote the benefits of taking regular exercise.

More than ten agencies are involved in the project including the Ipswich Primary Care Trust, Heartbeat, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, community dieticians and the National Osteoporosis Society.

Also in the booklet, Ipswich Borough Council will detail all sports and leisure activities in the town and free taster sessions will be available for those people with the pack. Walks around Ipswich are also being researched to add to it.

Sharon Singleton, health improvement manager for Ipswich Primary Care Trust and Ipswich Borough Council, said: "In the past patients have been left to take up schemes that have never been properly evaluated.

"The practice nurses will work with patients to encourage them to make the best use of advice provided.

"People will always find reasons why they cannot take up exercise, stop smoking or change their diet.

"The practice nurses have had British Heart Foundation training to help them motivate patients to take steps to a healthier heart."

The launch comes just a few days before World Heart Day that will highlight that not doing any exercise doubles the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

President of the WHF, Professor Mario Maranhao said: "Even moderate exercise such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes most days helps control weight, cuts stress, anxiety and depression."

He warned that heart disease begins early and two thirds of children around the globe now take too little exercise to improve their health.

n St. John Ambulance staff are providing free taster sessions in resuscitation training in the Chantry Community Centre as part of the project.

The session starts from 7pm on October 8 and is free to all Chantry residents.

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