Actress in Diabetes awareness campaign

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Ex-Eastender Pooja Shah warns of dangers to Asian community

ASIAN actress Pooja Shah has joined forces with The British Heart Foundation to warn of the dangers of diabetes within the Asian community.

The actress said it important the Asian community are aware of the risks.

Statistics show many South Asians living in the UK are more than twice as likely to have diabetes compared to the general population.

Type 2 diabetes in particular significantly increases the risk of heart disease in Asian men and women, BHF said.

Groups at particular risk of Type 2 diabetes include Indian men who are more than twice as likely to be affected, and Pakistani women who are over two and a half times more likely to suffer from this serious disease than the general population.

Pooja, best known for her roles in Eastenders, Coronation Street, Missing and Bend it Like Beckham is helping the BHF raise awareness of heart disease in the South Asian community. She said: “My family has been affected by heart disease and stroke and I know the huge impact it can have on your everyday life. High cholesterol, diabetes and angina all run in my family and because of this I am much more aware of my own heart health.

“The British Heart Foundation has many free resources available to the South Asian community which include simple steps to lead a healthier lifestyle. The truth is too many lives are lost each year to a killer which is largely preventable. We need to help each other look after our hearts now, and protect our health in the future.”

Qaim Zaidi, BME Project Manager at the BHF added: “We are urging everyone in the South Asian community to think about their heart health and be aware they’re at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Heart health risks including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be hard to spot. It’s not in our nature to complain too much, but it’s important that if you’re over 40 you get a heart health check with your GP.”

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