A former Sheffield bus driver is urging people to lead a healthier lifestyle to prevent the heart problems that have blighted his life.
David Jones, 63, is one of around 325,000 adults in the region who have been diagnosed with diabetes, which is a key risk factor for coronary heart disease – the leading cause of heart attacks.
Shockingly, a new survey commissioned by the British Heart Foundation found that half of adults in the UK diagnosed with diabetes are in the dark about the link, with just 49 percent of adults saying they were aware of it.
David had two heart attacks in short succession in 2008. A former smoker, he is quick to admit he hasn’t always had the healthiest lifestyle: “I used to smoke between 30 and 40 cigarettes a day – sometimes more. After I had my first heart attack, a doctor told me if I didn’t stop straight away, I wouldn’t see out the rest of that year. I took him seriously, and I haven’t smoked since.”
He said he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes soon after the heart attacks and added: “I didn’t really take the diagnosis that seriously, and I told my GP I was thinking of stopping taking the medication as I wasn’t happy with the weight gain. He said if I did that – he would refuse to be my doctor. That ‘tough love’ approach made me sit up and pay attention a bit.”