For everyone seeking a healthy heart
THE MAGAZINE FROM HEART UK
The Bill stop the show
TV stars shine at redlaces ball
First FSC opens its doors
West Midlands is home to new support centre
Our message goes to the heart of politics
HEART UK at the party conferences
ADVICE · LETTERS · NEWS · FOOD & DRINK · FUNDRAISING · LATEST RESEARCH
2 REGULAR 03
What a difference a year makes
Director HEART UK
This time last year I penned in this
column that “by knowing you, by
being in better and if necessary
more constant contact will put us ahead of
the crowd and allow us to plan our future
together.” Writing 12 months later, I hope
that you will agree with me that we have
all started to go down this fascinating, but
sometimes difficult road together.
Our first step was to analyse our two patient
member surveys – one bravely asking you
what you like and appreciate about the
charity and more importantly what more
we can do for you. The other targeted the medical perspective so that
we could get a true understanding of your experiences in diagnosis,
treatment and management of your conditions.
This knowledge was put to good use later in the year when we liaised
closely with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) on the first national familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
guidance. Dawn Davies, our own patient champion and now chair
of the Patient Committee, worked tirelessly on the NICE committee
and was invaluable in making your voices heard at the highest level.
FH is beginning to get deserved recognition and we are committed to
making sure that all those at risk are found and supported. This year
also saw the government launch its Putting Prevention First vascular
check strategy, something HEART UK has called for long and loud
and so I believe that we are on the right path in getting our message
across as generations to come will become better aware of their
heart and vascular risk.
We generated increased funds in 2008 to help us spread the word and
engage in new activities. Our Teamredlaces raised more than £500,000
as official charity for the 2008 Flora London Marathon. Once again,
a big thank you to all our runners and supporters, who defied aching
limbs, hail and rain to paint London red with laces.
Despite all these steps in the right direction we cannot afford to be
complacent. Our vital work goes on. The first of our Family Support
Centres opened on Halloween in Birmingham and pan-London centre
launched in early December. We will also continue to take our message
to the highest level and I am honoured to represent this charity on a
public health commission which should produce ground-breaking
recommendations for the nation’s health next year. Most importantly we
will never stop listening to you - our members.
Finally, on behalf of your Chairman, Trustees, Committee members and
my colleagues, I send best wishes to you and your family for Christmas
and the New Year.
Michael Livingston, The Director
Politicians listen to our message
Vascular risk workshops
Family Support Centre
First FSC welcomes patients
Fun and funds in London
Sorting good from bad
Children and statins
Leave a legacy
Sue McCarthy Travel Award
Lucy Aphramore on her trip to Iceland
No. 112 Volume 22
0845 450 5988
Tuesday and Thursday from 10am - 4pm
HEART UK - THE CHOLESTEROL CHARITY
Membership & business enquiries: 01628 777 046
Telephone: 0845 873 9597
Hyperlipidaemia Education & Atherosclerosis Research Trust,
7 North Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1PE
© 2008 HEART UK ISSN 1741-7864
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HEART UK DIGEST
Editor: Diana Butler • email@example.com
Designed & produced: Fusion Design • www.fusionweb.co.uk
HEART UK was at the very heart
of politics when it presented
two lively fringe events,
supported by AstraZeneca, at
the Labour and Conservative
HEART UK goes to
the heart of politics
“Excellence for all: Can primary care
reach those at risk?”, the breakfast
event at the Labour conference was
chaired by John Carvel, Social Affairs
Editor of The Guardian. Speakers
included Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister
of State for Health Services (pictured
left), Dr John Revill, a GP in Sheffield
(who was speaking on behalf of
HEART UK - The Cholesterol Charity)
and Sunder Katwala, General
Secretary of The Fabian Society.
Ben Bradshaw noted that narrowing the gap of health inequalities was
still a challenge for the government and he cited Tower Hamlets as being
an example of how primary care can meet the needs of at-risk groups.
The Minister of State for Health Services went on to state that the Prime
Minister has made improving access to GPs one of his priorities and he
made reference to the vascular checks programme, Putting Prevention
First, as an example of this. Mr Bradshaw added that health and social
care services needed to be provided together.
Dr John Revill explained that he would be discussing cardiovascular
health specifically, as this was the biggest problem facing the health of
the nation. He demonstrated how his approach to providing all patients
“You are what you speak: How
would a Conservative Government
influence public health?” the evening
event at the Conservative conference
was chaired by Gavin Lockhart,
Head of Health at the think-tank Policy
Exchange. Speakers included Mark
Simmonds MP, Shadow Health Minister
(pictured left), Michaela Nuttall,
Cardiovascular Nurse Lead (speaking
on behalf of HEART UK) and Dr Chris
Spencer-Jones, Director of Public
Health at the Birmingham Primary Care Trust (PCT).
Dr Spencer-Jones commented on tobacco and alcohol; both of which
are major social issues and public health problems. Michaela Nuttall
gave an articulate presentation on cardiovascular disease and the new
vascular checks programme which HEART UK has been lobbying for
over a number of years. She successfully highlighted the need to ensure
that services are coordinated across PCTs to reach all members of the
at risk of cardiovascular disease with primary prevention treatment had
lowered his referral rate to secondary care, reduced stroke and heart
disease incidents, and improved outcomes significantly for his patients.
He revealed that over 27 years, coronary rates had reduced to a fifth of
what they were in his practice and he highlighted the need for on-going
GP training to ensure evidence-based medicine is implemented.
Representatives from organisations including The Royal College of
GPs, the British Medical Association, the NHS Confederation, the Royal
College of Nursing, and National Association for Primary Care and the
Long Terms Alliance then joined the discussion to highlight:
• the lack of capacity for practice based nurses within GP practices
• lack of training strategy for practice based nurses
• the need for incentives so that GPs follow best practice
• the clear evidence that social networks are the most effective way of
improving the health of communities – the more linked up people are,
the healthier they are
• the need to use modern technology (internet, mobile phones, digital
television), to access healthcare - such a personalised system of
healthcare would lead to better outcomes
• reminder of the need to include patients themselves in this debate
• recommendation that services should be re-designed to suit the
communities they are serving, not the people working within them.
community (e.g: in mosques and pharmacies, etc.). She also explained
that it is critical that when any sort of risk assessment takes place that
the information is fed back directly to the GP to ensure that the findings
are dealt with in a suitable manner. Quality control and a level of quality
assurance were highlighted as a key issue within a national programme.
The Shadow Health Minister Mark Simmonds stated that the National
Health Service is the Conservative’s number one priority and they have
three key priorities: to make the NHS patient-centred; make it based on
outcomes, not central processes driven by targets; and have a greater
emphasis on public health. The Shadow Minister stated that his party plan
to create the role of Secretary of State for Public Health and to enhance the
role of the Chief Medical Officer. He added that the Conservatives intend
to ring-fence the budget for public health, without political interference
from the centre, and that they will introduce a new independent board for
overseeing public health spending, looking at coordination and why delays
are occurring in some areas. He also highlighted that the Conservatives will
have a responsibility agenda, to make sure that people recognise that their
own actions have an impact on their health and they plan to invest in health
accreditation schemes and focus on preventative health.
news, news, news
Charity hosts its first vascular risk workshops
HEART UK ran workshops for nurses and
dietitians in London in October and Newcastle
in November. The two events, entitled
“Vascular risk in primary care” were attended
by almost 100 practice nurses, dietitians and
healthcare professionals. The events were
supported by a grant from Flora (Unilever).
In London, Dr Sarah Jarvis, chair of HEART UK’s
healthcare committee, began with an overview of
identifying vascular risk in practice. She reminded
the group that the Department of Health (DH)
vascular risk screening programme would soon
be implemented across the UK for the over 40s
to help identify those at increased risk of future
events. Dr Jarvis urged healthcare professionals
to work together to help people realise that
many risk factors are modifiable. She concluded
that people can make a real difference to their
risk using lifestyle changes, with support from
healthcare professionals in primary care.
Michaela Nuttall, CHD Co-ordinator at the
Bromley PCT and a member of HEART
UK’s Healthcare Committee, focused on the
practicalities of setting up a vascular risk
assessment service. She noted that many
challenges remain to be addressed before
the DH vascular risk screening programme
could be fully implemented. For example,
communicating the importance of risk
assessment to people, implementing support
services, and standardisation of tests and
computer software. However, she noted that
this programme provided a huge opportunity
Website gets a revamp
to make a significant difference on a population
basis, and was a worthwhile challenge.
Michaela also encouraged the audience to find
out what their PCT is planning for vascular risk
assessment in their area, so they can help to
influence this exciting and important initiative.
Linda Main, Dietetic Advisor at HEART UK and
secretary to the charity’s Healthcare Committee,
emphasised that small dietary changes can
make a significant difference to cholesterol
levels. She suggested that eating plans such
as the Mediterranean diet, which are realistic
and sustainable, should be recommended.
Linda stressed that healthcare professionals
need to show people what to eat in ways they
understand and noted that a 5-10% weight loss
for most is usually achievable. She added that
encouraging people to make small, realistic and
manageable changes over time and building on
these works better than asking for a complete
lifestyle change. She concluded that health
professionals should aim to empower people
with knowledge, skills and the confidence to
agree and make their own lifestyle changes.
In Newcastle, Dr Dermot Neely, chair of
HEART UK’s Medical, Scientific and Research
Committee, began the workshop with an
overview of vascular risk and concluded
the event with a session entitled “Familial
Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) – Managing
patients and their relatives”.
Chrissy Briddon presented the practicalities of
setting up a vascular risk service.
The HEART UK website has been given a new look. Responding to feedback
from our patient members in a recent survey, the team at HEART UK and the
design company Fusion have updated the site and improved those areas that
generated the most comment. We hope you find the site easier to navigate
– please visit often to watch it grow and improve further! Please send any
comments or suggestions to HEART UK’s website co-ordinator, Claire James
Visit HEART UK’s new website today at: www.heartuk.org.uk
New team members at HQ
HEART UK is delighted to welcome
Karen Brammer as its first Healthcare
Co-ordinator. She will work as a member
of our healthcare team, alongside
our dietitians, to provide support and
advice to the public on cholesterol and
cardiovascular health related matters, as
well as supporting the charity’s health
care projects. She will also work with
the management team and committee
chairs in developing the charity’s position
and profile within the NHS, primary care
trusts and strategic health authorities for
all health programmes. Although this is a
new role, Karen, a former staff nurse, is no
stranger to HEART UK as she is a former
member of the Healthcare Committee.
Another new face at the North Road HQ
is Tracey Sheppard. She has succeeded
Jo White, who has moved on after several
years as the charity’s accountant. Tracey
has spent 10 years working in the charity
sector, including roles at Age Concern.
After spending the last two years in the
corporate sector she admitted to being
“keen to return to the charity sector as it is
a nicer environment to work in.”
With the team at HEART UK now at full
capacity, the charity is more than ready
to face the new year with renewed drive
SEARCH data fuels side effects discussion
Data from the SEARCH study presented at the recent
American Heart Association meeting created plenty of
discussion. The study failed to show any effect when looking
at folic acid and vitamin B12 to lower homocysteine compared
with placebo. Also in its investigation into more-versusless
LDL lowering, comparing 80mg and 20mg doses of
simvastatin, there was only a 6% reduction in vascular events.
While this in itself is not a significant result it is in line with all
the other more-versus-less data.
However, SEARCH did reveal significantly more cases of
myopathy (muscle damage) with the 80mg dose of simvastatin
than with the 20mg dose. The results call into question the
use of the maximum dose of simvastatin to achieve greater
cholesterol lowering at the expense of more frequent side
effects when the newer statins which are now available can
achieve better results with a bigger safety margin.
Unique partnership will help MI patients
Recent evidence suggests that the provision of treatment and follow-up
care for patients who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) - or heart
attack - varies significantly across the country. There is a real need for
clear guidance for primary care clinicians and patients in order that both
parties are better informed about what to expect with regards to post-
MI care in the UK. To address this situation, HEART UK, the Primary
Care Cardiovascular Society (PCCS) and Pfizer have come together
in a unique partnership to support the development of a management
protocol and patient materials for post MI patients.
This management protocol will include an evidence-based protocol
for primary-care clinicians, on the management of MI patients after
discharge, in order to promote optimum and equal standards of care
across the UK. Materials for patients who have experienced a heart
attack will highlight what to expect in terms of post MI care and support.
HEART UK Trustee Brian Ellis is a member of the Steering Committee
for the project and he will provide the patient perspective. We would like
to encourage HEART UK members who have experienced a heart attack
to get involved too, by volunteering to review draft patient materials in
2009. We would be grateful to hear from any Digest readers who have
had a heart attack and have received information from the doctor or nurse
about what to expect next in terms of care, treatment and lifestyle. By
learning more about the types of information that heart attack patients are
currently receiving, we can make sure that materials developed through
this ‘Follow your heart’ project are of real value. Contact Cathy Ratcliffe at
HEART UK on 01628 777 046 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Room for improvement in FH management
Since the last issue of Digest (Autumn 2008), the findings of the patient
survey supported by Schering Plough, have been further analysed.
The results for those with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) provide
many insights into the diagnosis and management of this condition.
Families affected by FH will probably already be aware of the paucity
of specialist services and support for children. The survey showed that
of the 91 respondents only one respondant to the survey indicated that
their child with FH had been seen a children-friendly clinical setting.
Lipid clinics around the country must begin to consider providing
services appropriate for children, given the importance of ensuring that
diagnosed youngsters begin to understand their condition.
Looking at the treatments being taken by people with FH, it seems
that a wide range of statins are currently taken, mostly at the higher
doses of 40mg or 80mg. Quite a number of respondents had tried bile
acid sequestrants in the past, but had switched when statins became
available as they often found formulation difficult to take or because their
cholesterol levels failed to drop sufficiently.
Many of the survey respondents highlighted their GP’s lack of specialist
knowledge regarding FH. Comments included delays and difficulty in
getting cholesterol tests, particularly for children, with some doctors just
not understanding the necessity. Others said that only total cholesterol
levels were provided, with doctors not even being aware of triglycerides!
Now that the NICE guidance is published, which provides the first
standards of detection and treatment of FH, HEART UK is committed to
ensuring that GPs in England and Wales are made aware of FH and NICE’s
recommendations - an FH toolkit is in development and we will bring you
more information through Digest next year. HEART UK is also campaigning
to encourage Scotland to introduce the principles of the NICE guidance too.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey. It is this kind of
information that is so valuable to the work of HEART UK to press for best
Indian summer inspires Wellington walkers
Some 100 walkers took part in the recent Teamredlaces
sponsored walk at Wellington Country Park, near Reading,
Berkshire. The Choles-Stroll, sponsored by Shredded Wheat,
raised more than £500 for HEART UK. As the country was
experiencing an Indian summer all those taking part sported the
charity’s distinctive red T-shirts, as well as the essential redlaces.
As this event was part of HEART UK’s mission to raise awareness
of inherited high cholesterol conditions and the importance of
maintaining a healthy heart, all those walkers aged 21 or over had
the opportunity to have a free cardiovascular test, sponsored by
Flora, at the event. HEART UK’s own dietitian Linda Main was
also at the event to give dietary advice to complement the CVD
testing and hand out much needed bottles of water and apples.
Carole Gryglaszewska, Head of Fundraising, reflected on the
event, saying: “This has been a great day and we are really
grateful to all those who came to Wellington Country Park to raise
funds for us. The unexpected sunshine inspired us all and it was
so rewarding to see so many HEART UK T-shirts on display.”
Images kindly supplied by Reading Evening Post and Charles Armstrong-Wilson.
news, news, news
New study reveals the importance of early treatment in FH
Research published last month in the
European Heart Journal 1 revealed that
treatment with cholesterol lowering statin
drugs effectively “wipes out” the excess
risk of heart disease death in people with
familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) – if they
can be identified and treated before they
This is the latest research from the Simon
Broome Familial Hyperlipidaemia Register
Group. The Scientific Steering Committee of
the Register has operated under the auspices
of HEART UK for 10 years. Its recent research
reports on a 26-year follow up (from 1980 to
2006), of 3,382 patients with FH diagnosed and
treated in 21 specialist lipid clinics in the UK – a
total of 46,580 person years. The report found
a dramatic fall in heart disease mortality since
statins became widely available in the clinics,
proving that with earlier diagnosis and effective
treatment it is possible to prevent any excess
heart disease mortality in early adulthood.
Professor Andrew Neil from the University of
Oxford and a trustee and former chairman of
HEART UK, who led this research said: “It is vital
that all primary care trusts (PCTs) implement a
screening programme, otherwise a patchwork
service will develop, with some PCTs providing
screening and others not. Cascade screening
only works really effectively where relatives can
be traced across the country, as the national
programme in the Netherlands has shown.”
JUPITER study reveals astounding results
Results from the JUPITER study have revealed
that the statin Crestor (rosuvastatin) can
significantly reduce major cardiovascular
(CV) events by 44% compared to placebo
in patients with low to normal levels of LDL
cholesterol, but at increased cardiovascular
risk due to elevated high sensitivity CRP. This
is the greatest relative risk reduction ever seen
in a large-placebo controlled statin outcome
study and featured patients who would not
normally receive treatment as they would be
perceived as low risk.
Michael Livingston, Director of HEART UK,
who was at the American Heart Association
meeting where these results were announced,
said: “We welcome these results which provide
much needed evidence around the benefits of
statins in the primary prevention of heart attacks
A cascade testing pilot funded by the
Department of Health has already been trialled
successfully in some parts of the UK and is well
established in other European countries, such as
Spain and the Netherlands. NICE recommends
that a nationwide, family-based, follow-up
system is established to enable comprehensive
identification of effected individuals.
Dr Alan Rees, Chairman of HEART UK and
author of an accompanying editorial in the
same issue of the European Heart Journal 2 ,
commented that: “This research is very timely
and emphasises how important it is that the
recently published NICE guidelines are fully
implemented in the UK as soon as possible. It
would be no exaggeration to say that this is a
race against time. Unfortunately there has been
no clear direction given to commissioning
bodies, however HEART UK has set up a
working group which has been working
very hard with NICE and local and national
commissioning bodies to find a way forward.”
While the Simon Broome Group researchers
expected to find an improvement in heart
disease mortality, they were surprised to find a
highly significant reduction of about one third
in all cause mortality, mainly due to reduction in
cancer disease deaths. The researchers consider
this most likely to be due to close adherence to
advice given as part of routine clinical care in
the specialist clinics, particularly to be physically
active, to make dietary changes, avoid obesity
and stroke. This study also confirms what we
already knew - that the lower the levels of LDL
cholesterol the better, in terms of reducing the
risk of cardiovascular events. The study raises
some very interesting questions for the future.”
JUPITER is the largest primary prevention statin
trial ever conducted and the first to explore the
benefits of statin therapy in such a large number
of women (38% of study population). Dr Sarah
Jarvis, Chairman of the charity’s Healthcare
Committee and Women’s Health Spokesperson
for the Royal College of General Practitioners,
added: “The JUPITER data is extremely exciting
as the level of relative risk reduction achieved
within the study is even greater than that seen in
the Cholesterol Triallists Collaboration metaanalysis.
The fact that the benefit extended to
mortality and morbidity, and to women as well
and stop smoking. Researchers cautioned that
these results are of most direct relevance to
patients referred for specialist care and might not
be reproduced in general practice.
Dr Dermot Neely, Chairman of HEART UK’s
Medical, Scientific and Research Committee,
to which the Simon Broome Register Group
reports, added: “These results are a testament
to the excellent work done in specialist lipid
clinics, not only in effectively wiping out the
excess heart disease risk among patients under
their follow up, but also in promoting healthy
diet and lifestyle choices which may have
contributed to the substantial reduction in overall
mortality and particularly cancer mortality. We
would urge commissioning bodies to ensure
that NICE FH guidelines 3 are implemented in
full, including implementation of DNA diagnosis,
family cascade testing and specialist lipid clinic
referral for every FH patient. This research has
also proven the value of long-term lipid clinic
follow up registries, without which this important
evidence would have been lost.”
1 Neil A, Cooper J, Betteridge J, et al. Reductions
in all-cause, cancer, and coronary mortality in
statin-treated patients with heterozygous familial
hypercholesterolaemia: a prospective registry
study. Eur Heart J. Oct 7 2008.
2 Rees A. Familial hypercholesterolaemia:
underdiagnosed and undertreated. Eur Heart J.
Oct 7 2008.
3 NICE Guidance. CG 71
as men, is further proof of the benefit of statins
in high risk patient populations.”
The JUPITER results also showed that for
patients in the trial taking Crestor (rosuvastatin)
the combined risk of heart attack, stroke or CV
death was reduced by nearly half (47%); the
risk of heart attack was cut by more than half
(54%); the risk of stroke was cut by nearly half
(48%); total mortality was significantly reduced
by 20% and LDL-C (bad cholesterol) was
reduced by 50%.
Your charity played a significant part in the
media reporting of this exciting study. Dr Sarah
Jarvis and Dr Dermot Neely appeared live
on BBC News 24 to discuss the fundings and
Sarah Jarvis and Michael Livingston were
widely quoted in the newspapers.
Calling all patients – CVC wants your views
The Cardio & Vascular Coalition (CVC) is a collaboration of voluntary and
professional organisations, including HEART UK, working for improved
cardio and vascular health. The CVC’s interests span all heart and
circulatory diseases, as well as the related conditions of kidney disease
and diabetes. As these conditions share many risk factors, the CVC is
campaigning for a Cardio & Vascular Health Strategy for 2010 – 2020.
The CVC is currently consulting with a range of organisations to build a
picture of what is being done well and what needs to be improved in the
prevention and treatment of cardio and vascular disease. The Coalition
knows that the views of patients are essential and so has launched an
online public survey alongside its consultation survey for organisations.
The CVC then plans to publish its proposals for a new Cardio & Vascular
Health Strategy early next year.
To access the public survey and look at the consultation for the
organisations (the Green Paper), please log on to
www.consultationfinder.com/cvc. A paper copy of the survey is also
available by contacting the CVC on 020 7487 8604 or emailing the
organisation at email@example.com.
Prudent diet receives top marks
in INTERHEART study
The INTERHEART study has indicated that unhealthy dietary intakes
may in part be responsible for the incidence of heart attacks across
the world. The study, which took place in 52 countries, enrolled 5,761
people who had already suffered an acute myocardial infarction (MI)
and compared them to more than 10,500 control subjects who had not
suffered an MI. All the subjects were assessed using a food frequency
questionnaire to determine their routine dietary intakes. As a result of
this assessment, three dietary patterns were identified:
• Oriental (because of its high content of tofu, soy and other sauces)
• Western (because of its high content of meat, fried food and
• Prudent (because of its high content of fruit and vegetables)
At the highest levels of intake, the western diet was associated with a
higher risk of heart attack or MI. There was no overall association between
the oriental dietary pattern and heart attack and people eating the prudent
diet had a lower risk of suffering an MI. So the INTERHEART authors
concluded that, in line with other published research, an unhealthy dietary
intake increases the risk for heart attack in the region of 30%.
Circulation 2008; 118:1929-1937
First family support
centre opens its doors
The West Midlands is home to the UK’s first family support centre
(FSC), which opened its doors for the first time in early September
Based at Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, this FSC
is headed up by HEART UK Trustee Dr Liz Hughes and Dr Inessa
Tracey. The Centre, which is funded by HEART UK, is a drop-in
centre offering a broad spectrum of advice and support to those
who have been diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia
(FH) and other inherited high cholesterol conditions.
The centre is managed on the day-to-day basis by Suzanne
Sumara, a registered nurse who comes to the centre with many
years’ experience working in diabetic and cholesterol areas,
including more than 12 years working alongside Dr Hughes at
Sandwell. “The FSC has already had 37 referrals from Sandwell
alone and they have been either self referring or through Dr
Hughes and Dr Tracey’s clinics. Everyone’s response has been
very positive and we will soon be distributing information leaflets
on the centre to the wider West Midlands community. We are
one of two pilots [the second FSC opened in London in early
December] assessing the feasibility of targeting patients with FH
and other high inherited cholesterol conditions in this way.”
Suzanne and her team, which includes other nurses, a nutritionist
and administrative support, are passionate about keeping patients
informed on FH and to this end the support centre is always open.
As Suzanne herself says: “My mobile number is available 24/7 for
patients to contact me.”
The FSC is not just for the patient either. It also provides a
support system to the extended members of the patient’s family.
Crucially too, in such a multicultural area, the team has extensive
knowledge and understanding of the both the South Asian and
Afro Caribbean communities, thereby ensuring that some of the
most at risk groups in the area will be able to utilise this much
Although based at Sandwell Hospital, the FSC is self governed
and managed via its partnership group. The centre also arranges
education events to help raise awareness of IHC and provides
social activities so that patients do not feel that they are battling
their condition on their own.
Look out for news from the London FSC in the next edition
Dr Hughes made the top bid
for the David Suchet signed
Hercule Poirot photograph,
held here by HEART UK’s
Mark Dewey, at the Charity’s
recent ball. The picture will now
have pride of place in the
FSC at Sandwell.
Rachel, Michael & Sally
Rob & Sue Cramb
The Flora Team
The police steal the limelight
at the redlaces ball
HEART UK celebrates a remarkable year with a sparkling event full of stars
There was a strong police presence at HEART UK
- The Cholesterol Charity’s recent redlaces Ball
at the Royal Garden Hotel in London. Luckily for
the guests these officers were from Sun Hill – the
main base for the actors starring in the regular
TV series The Bill. Cast members including Ali
Bastian, Ben Richards and Chris Simmons may
have been off duty, but they worked hard for
HEART UK, helping to raise more than £3,500
in the evening’s main auction. The team even
donated a “swag” bag, which included a private
tour around the studios, which auctioneer,
broadcaster Patrick Lunt, sold for £425.
One of the guests, Ian Cooper, generously
donated one night at The Royal Garden Hotel
to the auction. He had only received this prize
himself earlier in the evening after winning the
amusing Heads and Tails competition which had
been organised by toastmaster Paul Deacon.
Ian’s generosity added a further £350 to the
evening’s grand total.
Fran Sivers & husband
The TV actors were not the only stars of the
show, which was supported by Unilever,
Flora and Cereal Partners. HEART UK’s
fundraising team had arranged a surprise
awards ceremony for its own stars from the
2008 Flora London Marathon. Named Night
at the Floras Awards, they were presented
by Flora proactive’s Brand Manager, Erin
Merlin. The winners were:
Cover star: Alex Smith and Paul White who
stood out in the crowd on Marathon Day
in their Union Jack shorts and went on to
become the Teamredlaces image for the
Flora London Marathon 2009.
Leader of the pack: Ben Blake, Brand
Manager for Cereal Partner’s Shredded Wheat,
who was an inspiration for many a runner.
Bravest runner: Caroline Radford, who ran
the marathon in memory of her late husband.
Fittest trustee: Dr Alan Rees, Chairman of
HEART UK, as he knocked 10 minutes of his
Most ambitious runner: Tom Rigden of
Genzyme. His Just Giving page stated that he
wanted to finish the Marathon in less than two
hours, but was delighted with a time of 4:50.
Erin & Sophia
Most elegant runner: Mel Evans who
remained stylish despite the occasional
hailstorm on Marathon Day.
Media star: Rosie Ellis, who became HEART
UK’s media expert. She found herself talking
about her Marathon achievements on the sofa
at GMTV as well as at BBC Radio Berkshire.
Running sisters: Caroline Cleaver and Katie
Mansfield took this honour after they held
hands crossing the line in 5:02.22.
Closest couple: Partners Izabelle
Kwasniewski and Tim May also finished in an
identical time of 5:23:43.
Most glamorous competitor: Sophia
Holdsworth was proof positive that Marathon
running need not be drab.
Dawn & Neil Davies
Most angelic runner: Tania Daniels was an
inspiration to her fellow runners.
Most stylish runner: Chris Millican gave the
girls a run for their money in the style stakes.
Special awards: HEART UK’s Fundraising
Team – Carole Gryglaszewska, Mark Dewey
and Claire James. Their marathon efforts
resulted in the charity netting more than
£500,000 from its role as Official Charity of
the 2008 Flora London Marathon.
Special mention: Was made of Diana
Lipton, who was unable to attend the Ball.
She was the charity’s biggest individual
fundraiser, raising more than £25,000 for
HEART UK in memory of her late husband,
Professor Peter Lipton.
A few officers from the regular TV series 'The Bill'
Carole & Aldo
Leader of the pack
what’s in a fat?
Linda Main, HEART UK’s dietitian, cuts
through the jargon to give clear advice
Dietary guidance for reducing cholesterol
levels centres around reducing saturated fat
and replacing it with unsaturated fats called
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
But many people, when first told they have
raised cholesterol, ask what these are and
where can they find them in the foods they
eat? To confuse us even more, saturated,
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
are usually found in combination in foods.
Some foods however, are richer in one kind
of fat than another, so Digest can provide the
Lowering saturated fat intake
It is generally thought that reducing
saturated fat intake can bring about
a reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol
of around 5-10%. But the true effect
is really based on how much change
people are able to make. Someone who
is already eating a relatively healthy diet
may not be able to reduce their saturated
fat intake much further.
Usually solid at room temperature and
generally of animal origin.
Foods rich in saturated fats include:
• Butter, ghee, lard, hard margarines and
foods made from these (cakes, biscuits,
puddings, pies, pastries and pasties)
• Dairy fats (full cream milk, cheese, full fat
yoghurt, crème fraiche and cream)
• Fatty meats and meat products
(sausages, burgers, salami)
• Palm and coconut oils
Usually liquid at room temperature and
Foods rich in mono unsaturated fats
• Olive oil, rapeseed oil
and spreads based on these
• Av o c a d o
• Nuts, flaxseed
Usually liquid at room temperature and
Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats include:
• Corn, safflower and sunflower oil
and spreads based on these
• Oily fish such as salmon, trout,
herring and mackerel
• Sunflower and other edible seeds
Guidance in the UK recommends lowering
saturated fat intake to less than 10%
of energy intake, whilst in the USA the
American Heart Association recommends
a reduction below 7% of energy. Both
recommend increasing intakes of mono
and polyunsaturated fats. Ten percent of
energy from saturated fat is inline with UK
Guideline Daily Amounts.
Typical energy intake 2500 2000
UK Guideline Daily Amount of saturated fat No more than 30g No more than 20g
USA recommendations for saturated fat (
Careful spending does not mean a cutback in taste.
Try these HEART UK recipes for healthy meals for four for under a fiver...
Chilli con carne Serves: 4
• 400g /14ozs of lean minced beef, minced
turkey, Quorn mince or minced beef
extended with soya mince
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 large onion, peeled and diced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 400g can of chopped tomatoes
• 1 beef stock cube
• 1 tablespoon mild chilli powder (or to taste)
• 2 tablespoon tomato puree
• Black pepper to season
• 450g can red kidney beans (or equivalent in
dried, soaked and pre-boiled beans)
1Cook diced onion and garlic in oil for a
2Add minced meat and cooked until
3Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock
cube, chilli powder, tomato puree, kidney
beans and season with a generous pinch
4Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered
for 15-20 until well cooked and of the
5Serve with seasonal vegetables and
boiled brown rice.
6Freeze any left over portions for use on
another day. Alternatively once cool,
portions can be kept in the fridge for up to
with cous cous Serves: 4
• 2-4 tablespoons oil (corn, rapeseed,
sunflower oil, non-virgin olive oil)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 garlic cloves crushed
• 2 lbs seasonal vegetables peeled and cut
winter: carrots, broccoli, squashes, sweet
potato, parsnips, red onions, beetroot)
summer: peppers, cherry tomatoes,
aubergine, courgette, new potatoes
• Herbs to season
• 1 small can of tuna
1Put all vegetables into a wide baking
tray, season well, mix together balsamic
vinegar, oil and garlic, pour over vegetables
and combine until well coated. Leave to
marinade for ¾-1 hour before cooking.
2Preheat oven temperature to
3Place marinated vegetables in the oven
and cooked for 20-30 minutes or until soft.
4Soak cous cous according to the
5Add roasted vegetables to the prepared
cous cous, add a can of flaked tuna
6Serve hot or cold with crusty
vegetable soup Serves: 4
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 2-3 rashers lean bacon diced
• 1 leek sliced
• 2-3 sticks of celery washed and diced
• 2 carrots peeled and diced
• 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
• 1 small sweet potato or ¼ butternut squash
peeled and cut into dice
• 500-750ml vegetable or chicken stock
• 1 bay leaf and a selection of fresh
or dried herbs
• 1 inch grated ginger (optional)
1Cook the onion in the olive oil in a large
pan for a few minutes. Add the bacon and
cook until browned.
2Add the remaining vegetables, herbs and
enough stock to cover the vegetables.
3Bring to the boil and simmer
4Serve with crusty wholegrain bread.
almond soup Serves: 4
• 50g (2ozs) almonds
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, chopped
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 500ml vegetable stock
• 1 medium cauliflower, cut into pieces
• 150ml skimmed or semi skimmed milk
• Black pepper and nutmeg to season
1Lightly toast the almonds in a non stick
frying pan or under the grill taking care not
to burn them.
2Cook the onion and celery in the olive oil
in a large pan until softened.
3Add the stock, cauliflower and almonds
and cook for 5-10 minutes until the
cauliflower is tender.
4Blend until the mixture is smooth and
return to a clean pan.
5Add the milk and heat gently
for 5 minutes.
6Season and serve with toasted
After some concern about my raised cholesterol levels and
heart health I have been trying to change my diet. My doctor has
suggested I should follow the principles of the Mediterranean
diet. Can you explain more about this and how it works?
Dear Mrs C
Your doctor is right to point you in this direction. It seems that people
living around the Mediterranean suffer less heart disease than
those of us that live in the UK and northern Europe. This has led
researchers to question whether the Mediterranean diet might be a
model diet which could contribute to improved health and longevity.
Traditionally people in the Mediterranean eat more fruit and vegetables,
wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, pulses (peas, beans and lentils)
seeds and fish than we do in northern Europe. In addition they eat less
saturated fat from dairy and red meat sources in fact most of their fats
come from one source: olive oil. As a result their diets are:
• rich in monounsaturated oils which are heart healthy
(olive oil and nuts)
• a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. (seafood generally, but
especially oily fish)
• rich in potassium (wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables and nuts)
• rich in fibre including soluble fibre (wholegrain cereals,
vegetables, fruit, beans, peas)
• low in salt
• rich in antioxidants including vitamins E and C, carotenoids
• rich in B vitamins including folic acid
• low in saturated fat (little red meat and high fat dairy foods)
So how might these changes benefit your heart? Well it is
this combination of lowering saturated fat and increasing
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega 3s)
which can help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL
(good) cholesterol. A diet rich in potassium and low in salt also
favours a reduction in blood pressure in those with hypertension.
Initial research also suggests that diets rich in wholegrain can help
protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer risk. Although
the jury is still out on folic acid, it remains possible that folic acid and
other B vitamins can positively influence heart health by reducing
homocysteine, an independent risk factor for heart disease.
Soluble fibre from oats, pulses and fruits and vegetables help
to reduce the amount of cholesterol and bile (a by-product of
cholesterol) that your body absorbs. The effect is to ultimately
reduce cholesterol levels. The huge range of colourful produce in
the Mediterranean also results in a diet rich in beneficial antioxidants
that are thought to help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Finally increased oily fish intake is also a good dietary source of
vitamin D, a nutrient that increasingly seems to play a part in heart
health as reported in our last two digests.
The recent launch of the NICE guidance on familiar
hypercholesterolemia (FH) and the subsequent media flurry has led
a few people, who are no more than acquaintances, to ask that if I
had children would I put them on statins?
My answer has been yes. I have three children and they were all screened
for FH by having a blood sample taken. As a mum I wanted to know but I
did not want them to suffer the procedure unduly. So I waited, until for one
reason or another they needed to have blood taken such as pre-op. I then
asked if they could do a full cholesterol check. As the children grew up
this has been repeated just to make sure they have not got the condition.
My children are now all adults and luckily they have all escaped the genes
effects and have normal LDL (low density lipoprotein levels often referred
to as bad cholesterol).
If any of my children had severely raised cholesterol levels like my own,
I would not hesitate to agree to statin treatment for them because I am
acutely aware of what delaying the treatment can mean. I started taking
statins some 23 years ago at the age of 22. The disease process, called
atherosclerosis, was already well progressed and statins were prescribed
to try and slow this process down.
I can understand parents not wanting their child to be on lifelong
medication so it is important that they speak openly to their GP,
paediatrician and lipid specialist about all the ways available for reducing
cholesterol levels in order to lessen the long term risk of heart disease. It
is through this communication that the child and the family will be able
to take on the facts about benefit and risk and be active in the decision
Well I never knew! More from Dawn Davies,
HEART UK Trustee and FH expert patient
In my drive to get back into the workforce I have been seeking
the advice of The Benefits Agency. This particular area has
been passed onto a company called Working Links
www.workinglinks.co.uk. You can also telephone for an
appointment on freephone 0800 917 9262.
My health will never be great but it is probably as good as it will get
and I feel I have something to give to society. Realistically, my plan
is to start working eight hours a week and to increase this to 16
hours after three months. I would then reassess and increase again
if my heart failure was coping.
My recent enquiries have revealed that I can still obtain incapacity
benefit for one year while I make this transition as long as I do not go
over 16 hours or £88.50 and stay in touch with a government advisor.
There is also other help, dependent on individual circumstances.
It’s not too late to join
Teamredlaces for the Flora
London Marathon 2009!
Have a heart for HEART UK
All heart accessories is an on-line store which is
passionate about heart-shaped jewellery.
They have teamed up with designer, Ellie Morris, who has
come up with some stunning original designs. Among the
materials Ellie uses to create her jewellery are sterling silver,
silver plate, fresh water pearls, Murano glass, foiled beads,
natural mineral stones and Swarovski crystals.
How about a redlaces ramble?
The weather may be getting colder and the nights are drawing in but
there is still plenty of daylight left to organise a redlaces ramble. It
may also be the perfect excuse to get the family away from the TV or
computer and experience some fresh air! So why not organise your own
event in aid of HEART UK? It might be a brisk walk along the seafront
and back, a rustle through autumn leaves in your local woods, or even a
walk through your local town spotting all the Christmas decorations.
A new chapter in our Marathon story
Even though we do not have Official Charity Status this year, we do
have the benefit of 100 much-coveted Guaranteed Places and, of
course, we have plenty of Teamredlaces running vests for runners
who have acquired their own place through the ballot.
HEART UK would be delighted to hear from any runner wishing to
join Teamredlaces for the Flora London Marathon 2009, whatever
their age, running experience or speed. All that is needed is a
determination to train for the event and a passion to spread the
redlaces message and raise vital funds. The pledge level for a
Guaranteed Place for ’09 is £1500, but no pledge is necessary for
someone running on their own ballot place.
Still time to support our 2008 team
Although the team is still totting up the very last bits of sponsorship
money, HEART UK - The Cholesterol Charity - is delighted to
announce that the charity raised more than £500,000 from its great
efforts in the Flora London Marathon 2008. This was a great effort
from everybody involved, not least all our runners, many of whom
have signed up to run again in 2009. If you haven’t yet sponsored
our Teamredlaces but are inspired by their heroic efforts then there
is still time – please just send a cheque, writing Teamredlaces FLM
on the reverse, or call us on 0845 873 9597 to pay by credit card.
Alternatively, you can log on to our fundraising page at:
www.justgiving.com/supportteamredlaces and donate online.
Leaving a legacy to keep
young hearts running
As we rely heavily upon voluntary
income, including legacies, to be
able to continue our work, we are
in the process of designing two
new HEART UK legacy leaflets.
We would very much appreciate
and value some feedback from
Members on the style, design and
content of our leaflets and so, for
that reason, we will shortly be
mailing you the two versions of
our leaflet and a questionnaire which gives you
the opportunity to let us know your views.
The leaflets will feature Dr John Reckless,
Consultant Endocrinologist and HEART UK
Trustee, and why he has already made a
bequest in his Will to HEART UK. John
explains, “We’ve made great strides in
diagnosing and treating patients with high
cholesterol since the Charity was founded
and I want to ensure that what I believe in
continues after I’ve gone – that
there’s funding to carry on
our work and keep young
Even if you’re not a runner, HEART UK still needs
you! You can join our band of cheering supporters
lining the route to spur on weary runners and
keep them focused on the Finish! Please book the
date in your diary now - Sunday 26th April 2009.
Many HEART UK supporters at the recent redlaces Ball had
the chance to experience the pleasure of owning an all heart
accessory as a delicate, red heart necklace was presented to
every female guest. All heart accessories will give 5% of all their
profits to HEART UK, so any purchase you make from their
website: www.allheartaccessories.com will benefit us.
Christmas shopping sorted at anolivebranch
HEART UK is one of 10 charity partners of a newly created
online fundraising website. The website, anolivebranch.co.uk
is a shopping portal from which you can both purchase a wide
range of products and raise funds for your favourite charity.
The site is ideal for all your Christmas shopping and caters for
everyone, whether they be 8 or 80.
The host website www.anolivebranch.co.uk offers around
80 electrical products at the best prices, as well as a virtual
department store providing clothes, footwear, menswear, gifts,
holidays and even groceries
through high street names
such as M&S, La Senza, Asda,
Boots, John Lewis, Tesco,
Whenever you purchase an
item from anolivebranch.co.uk,
or from one of the other partner
stores via anolivebranch. co.uk
website, a donation is made to
HEART UK at no extra cost to
you! Once you have made your
first purchase on-line and can see how easy it is, and how good it
makes you feel, please forward the details to your family, friends
and colleagues, explaining that they too can shop online at:
www.anolivebranch.co.uk and raise vital funds for HEART UK.
The more customers we have, the more funds we will raise!
Delegates at HEART UK’s Conference took part in an early morning redlaces walk.
Earlier this year, volunteer Jo Traill led friends on a five-mile redlaces
ramble in Buckinghamshire to raise awareness and funds. Jo’s
friends each paid for the outing and were given a pair of redlaces
and information about the Charity. Jo’s advice as a seasoned leader
of rambles is: “Make sure you have suitable footwear and clothing,
especially if it’s wet and muddy. It’s a good idea to start and finish in the
same place, like a favourite pub, or your own home - and that way there’s
always something tasty to look forward to at the end of the ramble.”
If you would like to arrange your own redlaces ramble, you can contact
us on: 0845 873 9597 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will
send you a Teamredlaces event pack and a supply of redlaces.
Our Christmas shop will be processing
orders until midday on Wednesday
Our Christmas Card Collection this year
includes a variety of colourful styles,
shapes and sizes, with designs ranging
from the traditional to the arty. Prices
range from £3.00 to £3.95 for a pack of
10 cards of one design.
Please call our hotline with your
enquiries: 0845 873 9597.
lucy’s prize reveals new thinking
Sue McCarthy Travel Award winner discovers that Iceland provides food for thought
this year’s winner of
the Sue McCarthy
by HEART UK
in memory of
lipid nurse Sue
to Iceland in May
to attend the
Weight and Health Symposium at Reykjavik
University. A cardiac dietitian, and researcher
at Coventry University, Lucy is particularly
interested in effective, cardioprotective
nutritional interventions in high risk groups.
Therefore, she relished the opportunity
to attend this symposium. “Winning this
award gave me the opportunity to see how
researchers in other countries have taken
their work forward in influencing general dayto-day
practice and at a policy level.”
She said that when she heard of the
symposium she was determined to get to
Iceland. “I knew that two leading American
researchers were speaking at the symposium.
I was really keen to meet with them and
Iceland is a lot closer than the USA! “
Lucy is currently researching an approach
known as Health At Every Size (HAES).
This evidence-based approach emphasises
the benefits of promoting healthy eating,
realistic fitness and body respect for people
of all shapes and sizes. Lucy is now helping
to establish the first HAES UK group and
believes that her Iceland trip has acted as
catalyst to this. “My visit to the symposium
brought me up to speed with international
research that challenges conventional
wisdom around weight and health. HAES is
an effective and evidence-based approach
yet barely, if ever, gets a look in when weight
policies are being discussed. That’s why,
together with other HAES advocates in the
UK, I’ve since been working to establish
HAES UK as a stakeholder group. I’ve been
interested in improving interventions around
weight and health for some time and feel I now
have sufficient knowledge of the evidence,
and of ethical dimensions of practice, to
debate HAES at a higher level.”
“There is little mainstream awareness in the UK
of the evidence that dietary quality, and health
outcomes, are not necessarily linked to weight
management per se. However my trip has
enabled me to get the debate going.”
Lucy has already presented her findings
to her team in Coventry. “They asked lots
of questions of course, but have been
persuaded that there is a need for a new
approach,” she explained. “And as part of
my prize I have the opportunity to present at
the HEART UK conference next June. I look
forward to highlighting the evidence to the
delegates there and hope to start a fruitful
discussion, ultimately leading to real change.”
HEART UK - The Cholesterol Charity - has
teamed up with a number of challenge event
providers to bring you a wide range of exciting
challenges in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
You can choose from a variety of cycles and
treks to push yourself to the limit whilst raising
much needed funds for charity.
Why not do something different today and
sign up for a once in a lifetime challenge.
If you would like to register your interest or for
more information about any of the HEART UK
Challenge events, please call HEART UK on
0845 873 9597 or email Claire at:
email@example.com. Together, we can keep
young hearts running!
Big heart bike ride across the Sinai Desert
When: 7 - 15 November 2009
A spectacular 420km cycle ride across the
Sinai Desert in Egypt. Camp out under the
stars on two nights and finish on the shores of
the Red Sea (includes a visit to the pyramids
Registration fee: £250.
Minimum sponsorship: £2500.
Cycle London to Paris with Classic Tours
When: 26 - 29 June 2009
This long weekend covers around 300km in
just 3 days finishing at the Eiffel Tower. The
fourth day is a free day to explore Paris.
Registration fee: £150.
Minimum sponsorship: £1000.
Cycle London to Paris with Discover Adventure
When: 2 - 6 September 2009
Passing through the Kent countryside, across
the Channel and continue through the villages
and medieval market towns of Northern
France, finishing at the Eiffel Tower.
Registration fee: £149.
Minimum sponsorship: £1250.
Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
When: 17 - 27 September 2009
Climb to an altitude of 5895 meters. Marvel
at the diverse ecosystem from cultivated
farmlands, lush rainforest and alpine meadow
to the lunar landscape at the top.
Registration fee: £350.
Minimum sponsorship: £3000.
Trek the 3 volcanoes (Italy)
When: 24 - 29 September 2009
Enjoy some of Italy’s most spectacular
scenery while scaling its three famous
volcanoes. The challenge culminates on the
slopes of smoldering Mount Etna in Sicily.
Registration fee: £200.
Minimum sponsorship: £2000.
Trek the Great Wall of China
When: 10 - 18 October 2009
Explore different sections of the Great Wall of
China, in the hills around Beijing away from
the places where tourists normally visit. Visit
the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square.
Registration fee: £250.
Minimum sponsorship: £2500.
Trek the Inca Trail
When: 14 - 23 May 2009
The Inca Trail includes very different terrain
from high desert plateau to tropical Andean
rainforests. Our ultimate destination is
Machu Picchu - the “Lost City” of the Incas.
Registration fee: £299.
Minimum sponsorship: £2650.
HEART UK DIGEST Although HEART UK has endeavoured to ensure the
accuracy of the entire publication, no liability will be accepted by the Trust,
Officers or members of staff, for information and opinions herein given.