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3 Jun 2005

Staggering statistics aside, both men and women of all ages remain largely unaware of the risks heart disease poses to their health, leaving too many hearts and families in crisis.

Physical inactivity is the most common risk factor for heart disease and is estimated to cause over a third of associated deaths. This puts seven out of ten adults in the UK who do not take enough regular physical activity at an increased risk.

The Sports Council for Wales Chief Executive Dr Huw Jones said,

"Sport and exercise must be placed at the heart of Welsh life if we are to create a healthier nation. Because we lead more sedentary lives, it is essential for people to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity five times a week if they are to protect themselves from coronary heart disease."

Each year in Rhondda Cynon Taff there are over 1,700 hospital admissions due to heart disease. In 2002 the Local Health Board teamed up with its partners to tackle the problem through the Heart Attack Project. The Heart Attack Project is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and allows GPs to refer patients to local heart health clinics where they receive a blood pressure and cholesterol check and discuss important lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk of a heart attack.