Valerie Nangle and Sarah Pelley

#heartdisease #noculturalboundaries


This health awareness campaign was launched to raise awareness of heart disease whilst reflecting the diversity of the population of the UK. The key message is that heart disease affects people of all ages, genders and all ethnicities. This campaign is extremely important as heart disease although mainly preventable (Kotseva et al 2017), is the number one cause of death worldwide (Roth et al 2015).

The aim of the campaign is twofold: 

  • To break down stereotypes and to raise awareness that heart disease affects all cultures, women and younger people
  • To encourage individuals to seek help quickly


[...] heart disease affects people of all ages, genders and all ethnicities 


By 2050, the World Health Organisation (2017) predicts a global cardiac health epidemic, however, the public continues to have a stereotypical view of the type of person that is at risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is not race, sex or age-related illness, and it affects the wider spectrum of the population. 

A global cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic is rapidly evolving, and the burden of disease is shifting (WHO 2017). Three times as many deaths from cardiovascular disease now occur in developing countries as compared with developed countries. Due to urbanisation and lifestyle changes, rates of heart disease in the developing world is rapidly increasing. Cardiovascular disease is no longer just a problem of affluent countries (Dugani & Gaziano, 2016). 


By 2050, the World Health Organisation (2017) predicts a global cardiac health epidemic [...]


Our project aims to dispel the stereotypes, myths and assumptions that the public may have regarding the type of person that typically develops heart disease. Assumptions, myths and stereotypes can be fatal. Stereotypes are dangerous and the stereotype of the overweight, unfit man as ‘a heart attack in waiting’ masks the reality. 

man with heart

This campaign will not only benefit the public and nurses but also benefit patients who have survived heart disease to gain a better understanding of their individual risk factors. Cardiovascular disease has significant consequences not only for the individual but also affects their families and the wider community and society. 

Although, this campaign was initially intended for the diverse population of the UK, with the assistance of social media, it is supported and has spread worldwide. 

Aims and objectives

To launch a social media health awareness campaign aimed at preventing heart disease within the diverse population of the UK. 

Activity to date 

Social media campaign has been developed – a series of ‘GIFs’ have been produced for social media by a creative designer to raise awareness of heart disease within ethnic minority communities, women and younger population. 


Outputs to date

All social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube entitled #heartdiseae #noculturalboundaries and ‘one world one heart’. 

Lessons learned

  • Stereotypical views can have detrimental consequences to health
  • Impact of social media in health prevention awareness campaigns as a valuable and highly influential medium of communication. In the first seven weeks of release, this campaign had 15,000 views
  • Demonstration of effective collaborative working between health professionals and patients with a common aim of primary prevention of heart disease


Stereotypical views can have detrimental consequences to health


  • This campaign consisted of survivors of heart disease volunteering to be photographed to represent their country of origin and their commitment of paramount importance in the success of this campaign in raising awareness   
  • Power of social media as a worldwide platform is positive in engaging the younger population and ensuring that this campaign is not limited to a local community campaign but has the potential to deliver this message at a global level 
  • Good collaborative working involving input from multiple sources including NHS Hospital Trust Diversity Department, local cardiac rehabilitation nurses, cardiac patients and social media experts have been vital to the success of a project 

open book

Reflections on impact

Metrics were placed on the campaign to measure engagement. Within the first seven weeks the campaign had 15,000 views.

This campaign has been supported and shared worldwide through social media reaching a wide audience. 


[...] the stereotype of the overweight, unfit man as ‘a heart attack in waiting’ masks the reality

The way forward 

Dissemination of the campaign through different organisations’ social media platforms. We are currently in discussion with the British Heart Foundation social media team and they are utilising the released GIFs as part of their preventative message.


Sustaining momentum

We intend to present at Cardiac Rehabilitation Nursing conference and publish in the Nursing Standard and continuously promote the campaign both locally and nationally. 


Dugani, S. & Gaziano, T.A. (2016). ‘25 by 25: Achieving global reduction in cardiovascular mortality’, Current Cardiology Reports, 18, (10).

Kotseva, K. et al (2017). ‘Time trends in lifestyle, risk factor control and use of evidence based medications in patients with coronary heart disease in Europe: Results from 3 EUROASPIRE surveys, 1999- 2013, Global Heart, 12, (4), 315-322.

Roth, G.A. et al. (2015). ‘Global and regional patterns in cardiovascular mortality from 1990 – 2013’ Circulation, 132, 1667 – 1668.

World Health Organisation. (2017). ‘Cardiovascular Diseases: Factsheet’.