South Lakeland has highest rate of deaths among women from heart disease. Charity warns it's not just a man's problem

SOUTH Lakeland has the highest rate of deaths in Cumbria of women suffering from heart disease.

New statistics from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show 210 women die from it every year.

This compares to 190 in Allerdale, 180 in Carlisle, 120 in Barrow, 100 in Eden and 100 in Copeland.

Across the North west over 10,000 women die every year from heart and circulatory diseases.

The charity has now opened its first ever virtual 'Women’s Room' to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

It says the online room will also create a 'unique and supportive space' for women living with the disease.

The charity says that despite being stereotyped as a ‘man’s disease’, more than 435,000 women in the North West live with a heart or circulatory condition and thousands die every year.

Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the BHF, said: “Coronary heart disease kills nearly three times as many women as breast cancer.

"Yet as a society we continue to prop up the myth that heart problems are just for men. Everything from TV adverts to soap plotlines show men with heart conditions.

"But it’s incredibly rare to hear about a woman with heart disease.

“As a result women often feel very isolated when they’re diagnosed with a heart condition. We want to shout from the rooftops that if you’re a woman living with heart disease you are not alone. Our Women’s Room can give you the ‘informational hug’ you need and introduce you to other women, just like you.”

Even with supportive family and friends around them, women can feel lonely and afraid when they’re diagnosed with a heart condition, said the charity.

The Women’s Room – an online hub available 24 hours a day - allows women with heart conditions to share their experiences and find support from other women who know exactly what they’re going through in a women-only online forum.

The online hub features stories of real women living with heart disease. It offers practical information to help women adjust to life with a heart condition, such as how to tell colleagues, family and friends about a heart condition, how to deal with work issues, what to do if they’re worried about their finances and how to cope if they feel upset or stressed.

It also includes of information and advice for all women who want to keep their hearts healthy.

The BHF created the online hub in response to feedback from women heart patients and wider research with more than 600 women across the UK.

Visit www.bhf.org.uk/women

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