pic of a stetascope

What does 110,000 cardiac screenings tell us about Ireland's heart health?

Pen Carl Vaughan Glasses 3 min read

The statistics show that we are putting pressure on our hearts and not taking the necessary steps to prevent early heart disease, even though it is one of our biggest killers[1].

  • We found that on average, seven in ten men (70%) and just over half of women (52%)[2] who have been screened are overweight or obese.
  • The stats also highlighted that a quarter (24.4%) of men and one in five (19.5%) women have high blood pressure, a key risk factor when it comes to heart disease.
  • One in five (21%) of those aged between 30 – 49 years are classified as having high blood pressure.
  • One in ten people (13%)[3] screened required additional cardiac follow-up appointments and referrals to further investigate potential heart health issues. These referrals were based on irregularities that showed up in their ECG, family history or their physical examination results.

While the HeartBeat screening stats point to a nation of unhealthy hearts, we can do something about this. The first advice I would give is to know your numbers. An awful lot of people in Ireland don’t know their blood pressure, or their cholesterol. They might never have had an ECG tracing and they don’t know if they’re sitting on trouble or not.

The second piece of advice is to get a check-up. A lot of patients who are screened are normal - that’s the way screening is. Most people, thankfully, don’t have a huge problem. High blood pressure, genetic conditions or rare cardiac disorders, obesity and cigarette smoking are the big-ticket items to cause issues. Anyone who can attend a HeartBeat screening should take full advantage of it.

Watch Damian Creedon's story on how Heartbeat saved his life. 

Sinead Proos, head of Wellness at Laya Healthcare adds to this advice saying;

“The symptoms you may experience during a heart attack are not always the obvious classic signs of severe chest pain, so if you’re suffering from tiredness, shortness of breath or back pain, we’d urge you to get checked out and speak with your doctor. Hearbeat screening only takes about 15 minutes, but those minutes could save your life and start you on the road to learning how to better look after your heart.”

HeartBeat cardiac screening is available to members over the age of 12, at no additional cost, once every two years. The screening checks Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, a physical examination, electrocardiogram (ECG) and a review and report by a consultant cardiologist.


[1] HSE.ie

[2] Individual HeartBeat appointments Aug 2018 – July 2019 – 5,038 people screened.

[3] Individual HeartBeat appointments Aug 2018 – July 2019 - 5,038 people screened.

Book your heart screening and  know your numbers. 

Download your cardiac care guide

For more information on cardiac benefits, visit: https://www.layahealthcare.ie/yourbenefits/cardiac/

Worried about your heart? read Karl Henry’s Top 5 tips for heart health https://www.layahealthcare.ie/thrive/health/5hearthealthtips/