Published on: 12 February 2024

200 people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire die every month as a result of a heart or circulatory condition. That works out at around one death every 4 hours. That’s why health bosses are urging people across the two counties to think about their heart health during Heart Health Month this February. 

An unhealthy diet, being overweight, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to higher cholesterol levels (fatty deposits in the bloodstream) and higher blood pressure. This can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure or having a stroke. 

It is easy to check blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can indicate whether some simple lifestyle changes are needed. For people over 40, there are free blood pressure checks available at NHS community Pharmacies across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  

A cholesterol test can also be requested from a GP or Pharmacist for those that suspect they might be at risk. Both checks are also available at the Talk Wellbeing hubs in Herefordshire and in the Health and Wellbeing vans across Worcestershire, too. 

The good news is that there are many simple ways that people can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These include maintaining a healthy & balanced diet, getting regular exercise and keeping alcohol intake to a minimum. Also, smokers should try to quit as soon as possible. These steps will help keep heart conditions at bay. 

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s Medical Director, Dr Will Taylor says:  

“Heart and circulatory disease kills 1 in 4 people in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area and puts some of the biggest pressure on the NHS. 

“Many people have high cholesterol and blood pressure and don’t even know it. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, will damage your blood vessels and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses.   

“I would encourage everyone to get their cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked regularly through the many NHS outlets that provide this service.” 

For more information about how to stop smoking on the NHS Website here:  

Quit smoking - NHS ( 

Information on heart health and cardiovascular disease here:  

Cardiovascular disease - NHS (