Cardiovascular disease – which includes heart disease, heart failure, stroke and congenital heart disease – is the UK’s single biggest killer in terms of disease. According to the British Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease causes approximately 74,000 deaths each year in the UK; around 200 each day. With nearly 2.3 million people currently living with coronary heart disease, it is important that employees and employers work hard to promote healthy habits.
The role of the employer
A range of factors may contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and employers do not have control over all of these aspects. However, it is important that management does all it can to protect workers by:
- Ensuring that employees are not subjected to high levels of stress or pressure
- Promoting healthy eating in canteens or vending machines
- Carrying out regular medical risk management to ensure that any early signs of heart disease are detected as soon as possible
- Making sure that employees who have had heart problems are rehabilitated carefully when they return to work and that their workload is appropriate
The role of the employee
Workers can take simple steps to help prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease. These include:
- Eating healthily
- Exercising regularly
- Giving up smoking
- Speaking to a manager, occupational health advisor or GP if stress levels rise or if heart-related symptoms arise (including chest pain, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, nausea and sweating)
While many companies are aware of the risks of cardiovascular disease, they are not always well equipped to protect their employees. This is where an occupational health provider such as Medigold can be of great assistance. Medigold is an expert in medical risk management, helping to put programmes in place that prevent illness, recognise the signs of cardiovascular disease and help to rehabilitate staff members who have been absent from work due to a heart condition.
Contact Medigold today for further information.