Vascular Disease Awareness Month will be taking place throughout the entire month of September. Launched by the Circulation Foundation, this campaign is dedicated to furthering the research and awareness of vascular diseases. The Circulation Foundation is the only charity in the UK which focuses solely on the treatment of cardiovascular conditions and spreading information on them. During September 2016, events will be taking place across the country to raise funds and awareness to help combat these diseases which can often be life threatening.

 

Vascular disease

Vascular disease is the term used to describe a number of conditions which are caused by abnormal blood vessels. There are many different forms of vascular disease which can affect people of all ages; some are much more serious than others.

Blood is pumped through the body via blood vessels, also known as veins and arteries. In order to have healthy, oxygen-rich blood nourishing every part of the body and all vital organs, we should all have fully functioning, healthy blood vessels. Whenever there is an issue with blood flow or the condition of blood vessels, this is a cause of vascular disease.

The four most common forms of vascular disease are; aortic disease, strokes, coronary heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease. Without the right amount of awareness and effective treatment, all of these illnesses can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Many vascular conditions are caused either by a form of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis or by a build-up of fatty deposits which cause arteries to become hard and narrow. This is known as atherosclerosis.

Vascular disease can affect almost anyone, regardless of health and age. However, there are several risk factors which can heighten the chances of contracting a blood vessel abnormality. Smoking, high levels of cholesterol, lack of exercise, obesity and hypertension are just a few of the lifestyle factors which can increase the risk of vascular disease. It is also important to note that people from South Asian or African Caribbean ethnic backgrounds have a heightened chance of contracting coronary heart disease or strokes.

 

Why should you get involved?

Despite the fact that vascular disease is extremely common and regularly affects huge amounts of people, it is nowhere near prevalent enough in public discussion according to the Circulation Foundation and many sufferers. The goal behind Vascular Disease Awareness Month is to turn this around and get more people talking about cardiovascular issues, raising money for treatment and keeping an eye out for symptoms. Eventually, the foundation hopes to fund more research programmes and, in doing so, establish a stronger community of vascular researchers – made up of scientists, medical staff and surgeons.

Getting behind this month long campaign would mean that you are contributing to the spread of awareness and funding for this devastating group of diseases. Every contribution, no matter how small, will make a massive difference to the cause. Even if you can’t afford to make a financial donation, there are plenty of ways that you can help to get the message out there this September.

 

How can you get involved?

The Circulation Foundation is very keen for people up and down Great Britain to start spreading the word about vascular disease and helping out in any way possible. There are so many ways that you can advocate for this great cause, starting from a small gesture like sharing information on your social media page to organising a fundraising event in your local area.

If you feel up to the challenge of setting up a fun event or fundraising challenge, get in touch with the Circulation Foundation and they will send out a package to get you started. This kit will include t-shirts, collection boxes, balloons, ribbons and much more. It could also be worth checking out whether there is already an event taking place in your local area this September that you could get involved with.