Miss Wales 2019 finalist urges youngsters to have heart screening

Justin Taylor, Medical Lead for Welsh Hearts, Amos Wong, Associate Specialist in Paediatric Cardiology, Dr. Joanna Longstaffe – Director of iDiagnostic and IGP, Sharon Owen, Welsh Hearts Charity Director

With running season approaching and hundreds of thousands of people in Wales preparing to take part in 10k’s or half marathons, the leading Welsh heart charity is calling on novice athletes to have a simple cardiac screening. Backing Welsh Hearts’ campaign is current Miss Wales finalist and keen cheerleader, Ella Turner, who has herself recently undergone a cardiac abnormality test screening. Teaming up with independent medical screening provider iDiagnostic (Independent Diagnostic Ltd), Welsh Hearts is now offering heart screening services for those aged between 18-45.

The average screening session costs around £4,500, but thanks to funds raised by the charity, the cost to individuals is dramatically reduced.

The simple, pain free test involves an ECG (electrocardiogram) to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by the heart each time it beats. The results are recorded and analysed by a qualified cardiologist who will be able to reassure, advise, refer on or treat accordingly. In total, the process takes around 15 minutes.

iDiagnostic is a collaboration between leading paediatric cardiologists and The Independent General Practice (IGP), which has surgeries in Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol.

Sharon Owen, Charity Director at Welsh Hearts said: “12 young people die every week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. This is a shockingly sad figure which could easily be avoided with a simple test. This is a great campaign that is easy for anyone aged 8 to 45 to get involved with – even if to put their mind at rest.”

iDiagnostic’s services primarily focus on the heart health of young people and adults in Wales. The partnership with Welsh Hearts makes the service available to many more people.

Sharon Owen continued: “Welsh hearts are proud to have teamed up with iDiagnostic to offer a vitallifesaving initiative. Hundreds die each year from an undiagnosed heart condition which a simpleECG could have detected. It is our mission to help protect and promote the heart health of peoplehere in Wales, particularly the younger generation who might associate heart disease and heartattacks with older people. Our screening campaign will make a massive difference and will savelives.”

An advocate of the cardiac abnormality screening is 20-year-old Miss Wales 2019 contestant, Ella Turner. Ella underwent the test in February and recommends other young people do the same. Ella said: “The procedure was really straightforward and took around 20 minutes. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful. As an ambassador for the Miss Wales brand and a young woman aspiring to be a role model for others, I would highly recommend this service in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, along with a healthy heart. I truly believe that everyone should take advantage of this service in order to reduce the heart conditions that may otherwise go undetected. It is definitely worth it!”

The average cost of the screening privately is £300, but with Welsh Hearts’ funding, the rate is less than £75 per person. Sessions are split between 8-17 year olds and 18-45, and are taking place during April and May at the IGP clinic at Cardiff Gate. Places can be booked via the Welsh Hearts website www.welshhearts.org/heart-screening-wales.

For those who have specific concerns relating to heart conditions, iDiagnostic also provide ECGs, echocardiogram and consultant cardiologist consultations to patients privately. For more information, visit www.idiagnostic.co.uk