35% of people don’t know how to respond to a heart attack

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of women

Offaly Express Reporter


Offaly Express Reporter




New research released by Opinion Matters, commissioned by the food services giant Aramark, found that 35% of people don’t know how to correctly respond to a heart attack.

The research which surveyed 2,004 people, asked ‘what are the first things you should do when responding to a heart attack?’ – 26.4% of people said they would put the person in the recovery position; 28% of people said they would put them in a comfortable position; and 4.2% of people incorrectly said they would pat their back.

The Women’s Heart Foundation, worldwide, also found that 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, hypertension and stroke, is the number one killer of women. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

As a result of this research, Aramark is incorporating more wholegrain foods into its menus across its 450 sites in Ireland and the UK, and has created ‘healthy’ identifiers in each food counter that aims to help customers choose options that are better for their hearts. The Eat Well programme, which is run by the Company Dietician, Elbha Purcell, has approved meals with reduced saturated fats and tailored menus to include higher fibre content, and healthier fats such as omega 3 fish oils, seeds and nuts.

“Most of us need to eat more fibre and reduce the overall fat content of our diet.” Frank Gleeson, MD of Aramark Northern Europe, said. “We know having a very good intake from a wide variety of foods is linked to a better overall nutritional intake and great examples of heart healthy diets include the Mediterranean diet and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Healthful diets focusing primarily on vegetables, fruits, nuts, wholegrains, lean cuts of meat and fish are part of the Healthy for Life programme we are offering our customers. The results of this new research are shocking, but Aramark were determined to do something about it – by including heart-friendly recipes that don’t compromise on taste. We produce over half a million meals a day in Ireland and the UK, and have a responsibility to offer a healthy alternative to our customers.”

“To make our meals more healthy-heart friendly, we have incorporated the following foods into our menus - porridge, high fibre breakfast cereals, sweet potato, quinoa, wholegrain breads, brown rice and pasta, beans and pulses to name but a few, to increase our wholegrain offer to customers.” Elbha Purcell, Aramark’s dietician, said. “These foods as well as being a fantastic source of slow release energy are also a great source of fibre, which is well documented in helping to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer.”

According to the research, women knew better how to respond to heart attacks – 69.5% of women said they would respond to a heart attack by calling the emergency services, compared to 60.5% of men. More men said they didn’t know how to respond to a heart attack (14.6%, compared to 12% of women) and more men would respond incorrectly, such as patting the person experiencing a heart attack on the back (5.6% of men, compared to 2.85 of women).