EAST Lancashire health chiefs have raised concerns about the apparent reluctance of Asian women to attend rehab sessions after suffering a heart attack.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has begun working with the charity One Voice to explore the low uptake rates, particularly within the south Asian community.


Referrals to crucial cardiac exercise classes are also alarmingly low, with just two women from the black and minority ethnic community , out of a possible 33 who suffered serious heart problems attending optional sessions last year.

The charity has organised focus groups and interviews to find reasons for non-attendance.

Zaheer Mahmud, of One Voice, said: “A significant number of females from the local south Asian community fail to fully take up support from health professionals after a cardiac event.

“One Voice will be working with the community and health professionals to identify the reasons and possible barriers that result in the low uptake of support.”

Dr Muzaffar Pervez, of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Cardiac rehabilitation does not just improve survival rates, it also effectively increases the quality of life, reducing anxiety and depression and improving control of symptoms.

“Despite heart disease being more treatable today than it was 30 years ago due to advances in medical fields, the more successful patients are the ones who put the work in.

“I urge all heart patients, especially women of Asian heritage to make sure they complete the cardiac rehabilitation programme to get the best possible outcome after a cardiac event.”

For more information see: http://onevoicenetwork.org.uk/