Midlothian MSPs support health issues

Left, Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie checks his pulse at the Know Your Pulse event while, right, Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame at the British Heart Foundation exhibition.
Left, Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie checks his pulse at the Know Your Pulse event while, right, Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame at the British Heart Foundation exhibition.

Midlothian’s two MSP have been showing their support for local people affected by serious health conditions.

Christine Grahame (Midlothian South) attended the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland parliamentary exhibition. There she learned that there are currently estimated to be 10,600 people in living with heart and circulatory disease in Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

Ms Grahame said: “Heart and circulatory disease affects thousands of people in my constituency. For example, 2080 have survived a stroke, 3,722 are living with coronary heart disease and 891 have heart failure.

“Research is vital if we are to continue making great strides in preventing, diagnosing and treating heart disease and the BHF funds vital research and provides support and information for those affected by heart and circulatory disease and their families.

James Cant, Director of BHF Scotland, said: “We were delighted to meet Christine Grahame MSP at the Scottish Parliament, and share this important information about the risk factors locally and the numbers of people affected by these devastating conditions that can strike unexpectedly, tearing families apart without warning. Thanks to BHF research, we can offer them hope for the future.”

Meanwhile, Colin Beattie (Midlothian North) has pledged to work with the Arrhythmia Alliance and its sister organisation, AF Association, to demand the creation of a national screening programme for people over 65 at risk of AF (atrial fibrillation: a type of irregular heartbeat). Currently, one in three of all people with AF have not even been diagnosed and are at an increased risk of suffering an AF-related stroke.

At a Know Your Pulse event held in Holyrood hosted by the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association, Mr Beattie supported calls upon the Scottish Parliament to debate the need for an AF screening programme for people over 65 in Scotland.

The event raised awareness of the importance of a simple manual pulse check in helping to detect AF. Parliamentarians had a pulse check and an ECG hand-held recording.

Mr Beattie: “I was shocked to hear about the numbers of people walking around today completely unaware that they have AF and who could be at risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke. I fully endorse the work of the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association and their call for a national debate on AF screening in Scotland. The pulse check I had taken showed just how simple and easy it is to identify someone who may have AF.”

For more information about the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association, please go to: www.heartrhythmalliance.org