Reports have found that the risk of heart attack rises approximately 15% over Christmas time. To highlight the dramatic effect the festive season can have on heart health, national heart charity Heart Research UK has created a special Christmas awareness campaign that aims to inform the public and raise vital funds that will benefit life-saving research.
Research from the UK and Sweden has shown that Christmas can put a huge strain on our hearts, with approximately a 15% increase in heart attack risk at Christmas time. Seasonal changes and the rise in contagious illnesses including influenza can contribute to a person’s increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and it’s especially dangerous for the elderly and those with certain underlying health conditions.
Reports show that deaths due to cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease increase during the winter months with heart attacks (myocardial infarction) being more prevalent.
In 2019/20 in the UK, there were 6,661 excess winter deaths due to cardiovascular disease which included 2,820 deaths due to coronary heart disease. In addition to this, research from Sweden found that the risk of heart attack increased by 15% during the Christmas and New Year period.
It is therefore easy to see why Santa Claus finds himself the subject of Heart Research UK’s latest campaign. With his stressful job, poor diet, irregular exercise and fondness for mince pies and sherry, Santa fits this profile of someone who needs to be aware of their heart health over the Christmas period.
Introducing ‘A Healthy Heart Christmas’- a new campaign from Heart Research UK designed to raise awareness of the risk of heart disease during the winter months. The campaign highlights the increase in risk of heart attack over the winter months and highlights the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and stress whilst providing a number of handy resources via their website to help everybody enjoy a heart healthy and stress-free Christmas.
To accompany the campaign, Heart Research UK has partnered with thortful, the UK’s largest online card marketplace, to create a set of hand-drawn, limited-edition Christmas cards showing traditional festive scenes. Proceeds from sales of the cards will go towards funding Heart Research UK’s lifesaving research.
‘We are extremely grateful to all the thortful customers for their generous contributions. The donations from the Christmas card sales will help us raise much-needed funds for our pioneering medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease. We are so thankful for their support. Together we can take on heart disease.’ says Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chief Executive at Heart Research UK.
Finally, as part of a radio spot promoting the campaign, BAFTA-winning actor and Line of Duty star Mark Bonnar has lent his distinctive voice to a special retelling of the iconic Christmas poem ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, leading with the famous ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ verse before encouraging people to visit Heart Research UK’s website and donate.
Anyone who wants to donate towards their life-saving research or learn more, can visit the Heart Research UK website (https://heartresearch.org.uk/), where they can access a range of useful tips and guidance on how to take care of their heart and make little changes to their lifestyle and diet over the holidays.
The range of limited-edition Heart Research UK Christmas cards are available to purchase here [https://www.thortful.com/creator/heartresearchuk]
With all proceeds supporting Heart Research UK.