Charity reveals East Surrey women's heart disease figures in regional study

Reigate and Banstead borough has the third-highest number of women dying from heart and circulatory diseases in the county.

The borough's total of 150 female deaths a year – third to Elmbridge's 170 deaths and Waverley's 160 – was released by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of its drive to dispel what it calls the “myth that heart disease only affects men.”

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has opened its first ever virtual Women’s Room to raise awareness of heart disease in women, and create a unique and supportive space for women living with the disease.

The charity said that despite being stereotyped as a ‘man’s disease,’ more than 450,000 women in the South-east live with a heart or circulatory condition, and thousands die from the disease every year.

The charity has drawn on figures based on latest mortality data from national statistical agencies and latest national health surveys and GP patient registers to compile representative totals of death figures by local authority.

According to its regional data, Guildford follows Reigate and Banstead with 130 female deaths a year, and Mole Valley and Spelthorne districts lie joint-fifth out of the county's 11 boroughs and districts with 120 deaths annually.

Tandridge, Epsom and Ewell, Runnymede and Woking all share the sixth position with 90 deaths a year, while Surrey Heath has a total of 80.

The BHF figures pointed to Medway in Kent and the New Forest in Hampshire as having the region's highest totals of women dying each year at 300.

The numbers for Elmbridge, Waverley, Reigate and Banstead, Guildford, Mole Valley and Spelthorne were all higher than Crawley's total of 110.

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 plot lines show men with heart conditions - but it’s incredibly rare to hear about a woman with heart disease.”

She said: “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.”

The BHF’s Women’s Room is an online hub available 24 hours a day, which 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, offers practical information to help women adjust to life with a heart condition, such as how to tell colleagues, family and friends, how to deal with work issues, finance worries and how to cope if feeling upset or stressed.

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

The BHF's Women’s Room can be found at: www.bhf.org.uk/women Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer.

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