Actor Ricky Tomlinson has warned British men against the threat of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) as part of a new campaign for Lloydspharmacy. Ricky freely admits that he did not take his heart health seriously in the past and paid the price in 2007 when he was diagnosed with heart disease after his wife insisted that he went to the doctor for a check-up.
A quadruple bypass and a significant amount of weight loss later, Ricky says he is a new man. He admits that if his wife hadn’t mentioned to his doctor that he had been a little breathless, he would probably be either very ill now, or worse.
Tomlinson’s campaign, ‘Ten Years Longer’, is designed to encourage men who are at risk of CHD to get their hearts checked out. “Men think illness is the same as weakness and it’s not very manly to be ill,” said Ricky. “The trouble with that is that if you ignore your health then you are more likely to get very ill indeed.”
He continued, “If women will go on a TV show to look ten years younger, then men can go to a pharmacy to live ten years longer.”
According to a new study by Lloydspharmacy, CHD will rob British men of more than 16.5 million years of life, although early detection of cardiovascular problems could lead to 4.3 million of those years being saved. That’s an average of 4 years per at-risk individual, but for some the number of additional years could be much greater.
Andy Murdock, Pharmacy Director for Lloydspharmacy said: “Most men can manage to keep the appointments that they think are important. They get their cars serviced, get to meetings on time and remember to file their tax returns. The one appointment they can’t seem to make is for a health check up.”
Lloydspharmacy offers cholesterol and heart checks at 625 of its pharmacies across the UK. The Lloydspharmacy cholesterol and heart check removes many of the excuses men typically give for not getting themselves checked out. No appointment is necessary so they can just walk into the chemist off the street at a time which is convenient.
Dr David Grainger, a heart disease researcher at Cambridge University and British Heart Foundation Senior Fellow, who compiled the Lloydspharmacy study, said, “When my father died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 55, he had no idea there was any problem with his heart. But this study emphasises that despite improvements over the last decade, heart disease still has a huge impact on the health of the UK population, and men in particular. The first step to avoiding a heart attack is being aware of the risks.”
About The Lloydspharmacy Heart Healthcheck
The 15 minute Lloydspharmacy Heart Healthcheck checks cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index as well as giving a full lifestyle assessment. Based on these results a percentage risk score of developing heart disease over the next ten years is estimated. Everyone who uses the free service will receive a personal action plan and summary of the test results. For high-risk customers a support pack is supplied and referral to the GP is recommended.
The Heart Healthcheck was trialled in 122 Lloydspharmacy outlets across the country last year and results show approximately 40% of those who had a check were referred to their GP.