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Heart Disease (Women)

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what public health education programmes he has launched aimed at the risk of heart disease in women. [111755]

Programmes in place to tackle the risk factors for coronary heart disease in the general population are aimed at both women and men. These take a life-course approach and focus upon diet and nutrition, reducing overweight and obesity, increasing physical activity and reducing the prevalence of smoking.It is also a Government priority to reduce the proportion of women continuing to smoke throughout pregnancy, focusing especially on smokers in low-income groups. This is reflected in a key target for the National Health Service for 2003–06.In support of these commitments, the Department of Health has continued to build upon the ABC poster campaign, which commenced in 2001, highlighting the lesser known risks associated with smoking during pregnancy. The £250,000 campaign is aimed primarily at 18–24 year old pregnant women in low income groups, their partners and families. Since 2001 the Department of Health has also distributed £6.8 million of extra funding to continue the development of smoking cessation services tailored for pregnant smokers.