Roscommon Farmers – Take Control of Your Heart Health with Croí

Croí, the heart and stroke charity, invites Roscommon Farmers to a special World Heart Day webinar on Thursday, September 30th from 7-8pm using Zoom. The webinar will focus on how you can reduce your risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, stress and more. Following the webinar, registrants will have the opportunity to apply to join a free 8-week lifestyle change programme with the Croí Health Team. Register now at

The life of a farmer is often busy, active and unpredictable, and we can see the impact of this demanding lifestyle on farmers’ risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Startlingly, almost 50% of Irish farmers have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and 86% are overweight or are living with obesity. Farmers have historically been seen as a physically active group, but daily “sitting time” for farmers can be as high as 8+ hours.

The good news is that with small lifestyle changes to things like eating habits and exercise, life-changing improvements can be made, reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. “Up to 80% of heart disease can be prevented by modifying risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. The more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that you will develop heart disease and stroke. We want you to focus on the risk factors you can change, because even if you have a family history, there is a lot you can do to reduce your risk,” says Dr. Lisa Hynes.

Webinar speakers include Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes at Croí; Aisling Harris, Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian; and Zoe McCrudden, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist. All participants will receive a free e-copy of Croí’s new Healthy Living Workbook that will help guide them in making the changes that are right for them.

Register now and submit your questions for the experts at, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event – know your risk of developing heart disease or stroke and make heart healthy changes!

In addition, Croí has developed special resources to support Roscommon farmers on their journey to better heart health. Check out our special webpage at and learn how you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

International Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week – Croí to Host “Listen to Your Heart” Webinar

“It’s been described as the next cardiac epidemic…”

With One in Eight Over 75 Years Suffering from Heart Valve Disease, People Urged to Have an Annual Stethoscope Check

See for information on heart valve disease and to register for the upcoming webinar.

Croí, the Irish heart and stroke charity, is calling on all adults over the age of 65 years to ask their doctor for an annual stethoscope check to ensure early detection and timely treatment of heart valve disease.

Heart valve disease – where valves in the heart are damaged or not working properly – is common, serious, but treatable. Regular checks for a heart murmur using a stethoscope are a vital tool in diagnosing the disease.

The call comes ahead of International Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week (September 13-19), an initiative of the Global Heart Hub, an international alliance of heart patient organisations from around the world, and which is led in Ireland by Croí.

Statistics show that one in eight people (13 per cent) over the age of 75 are thought to suffer from moderate to severe heart valve disease which can lead to premature death if left untreated.

Marking the week, Croí is to host a webinar on heart valve disease for members of the public on Thursday, September 16 from 7-8pm.

The “Listen to Your Heart” webinar will feature contributions from interventional cardiologist, Dr Samer Arnous, and a person living with heart valve disease. The webinar will highlight the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and how it is detected and treated. Members of the public will have the opportunity to put their questions to Dr Arnous. People interested in registering for the webinar can do so at

Needs to Change

For Neil Johnson, CEO of Croí, an annual stethoscope check needs to become a matter of routine for everyone over 65 years:
“As more and more of us live longer, heart valve disease is increasingly an issue that we may need to face. Indeed, it’s been described as the next cardiac epidemic. Sometimes we may put down to old age not being able to do certain things as well as we used to. However, the symptoms of heart valve disease can be masked by the natural signs of ageing. Too often, it goes unnoticed and undiagnosed as we don’t realise that there may be something more troubling going on.

“As we age, especially from 65 years onwards, if you are finding that small everyday tasks like going up the stairs, mowing the grass, or catching a bus, are leaving you feeling breathless or dizzy, you may need to get checked out by your GP. Indeed, as symptoms are not always present, as a matter of good heart health routine, I would encourage anyone over 65 years to have an annual stethoscope check. Unfortunately, we know from research that most people over 65 years in Ireland are not having regular stethoscope checks when they attend their GP. That needs to change. When it comes to heart valve disease, early detection and timely treatment is vital not only in living a longer life, but a life which you can enjoy to the full.”

Heart Valve Disease – Your Questions Answered

  1. What is heart valve disease? There are four valves in the heart – the pulmonary valve, the tricuspid valve, the mitral valve and the aortic valve – and these valves regulate blood flow. Heart valve disease occurs when these valves become damaged, narrowed or stiffened, effecting blood flow in the heart.
  2. How serious is it? Heart valve disease can cause heart rhythm problems, heart failure, blood clots, stroke and even death. Up to half of symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis – where the aortic valve is damaged or stiffened – die within two years of developing symptoms if not treated.1, 2
  3. What causes it? There are different reasons as to why heart valve disease might arise. Some people are born with a heart abnormality or it may be due to ageing. It can be the result of a previous infection, such as rheumatic fever or endocarditis. It can also arise due to coronary heart disease or a heart attack, or due to cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle.
  4. How common is it? 13% of people over the age of 75 are thought to be living with heart valve disease3, and, based on studies in other populations, that number is estimated to double by 2040 and triple by 20604 due to the ageing population.
  5. What are the symptoms? Symptoms can include chest tightness or pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, fainting, swelling of the ankles and feet, fatigue and reduced physical activity. However, some people with heart valve disease will experience no symptoms for many years.
  6. How do you check for it? Everyone over the age of 65 years should have their heart listened to with a stethoscope at least once a year. Anyone with suspected heart valve disease should be referred for an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis.
  7. How is it treated? Lifestyle changes and medicines are often prescribed to treat symptoms. However, people may need to have a heart procedure to repair or replace the valve.

For more information on International Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, visit To keep up-to-date on developments for Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week in Ireland, follow Croí on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @croiheartstroke, or search for the hashtags #ListenToYourHeart #ValveWeek21.

World Heart Month Events

September is World Heart Month! To mark this, Croí has a wide range of virtual health events coming up this month, with a panel of expert speakers to answer all your questions.

Click the calendar below to see our upcoming events and then click the buttons below the calendar to register for the events that you wish to attend!

Zoom Training with Bridget!

Date: Every Wednesday

Time: 12pm

Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke

Date: Thursday, September 23rd

Time: 11am

Healthy Eating as we Age

Date: Thursday, September 30th

Time: 11am

World Heart Day Webinar: Heart to Heart with the Croí Health Team

Date: Thursday, September 30th

Time: 7-8pm

Listen to your Heart – Croí Webinar on Heart Valve Disease

Join Croí for a free Heart Valve Disease webinar on Thursday, September 16th from 7-8pm.

As we get older, the valves in our heart can become diseased or damaged. Heart valve disease is common, serious, but treatable. Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week is taking place from September 13th-19th, and Croí want to raise awareness about the common symptoms of heart valve disease and encourage the public to listen to their heart!

Register for our special Heart Valve Disease webinar here!

The “Listen to Your Heart” webinar will feature contributions from interventional cardiologist, Dr Samer Arnous, and James Penny, who is living with heart valve disease. MC on the evening will be Lia Hynes, Journalist with the Irish Independent, author and podcast host. The webinar will highlight the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and how it is detected and treated. Members of the public will have the opportunity to put their questions to Dr Arnous.

  • When: Thursday, September 16th, 2021
  • Time: 7-8pm
  • Location: Online over Zoom
  • Price: FREE

Living well with Cardiovascular Disease: Emotional Recovery

Have you, or a loved one, recently been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or are recovering from a cardiac event? Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and leading experts for a public webinar on the emotional recovery post cardiac event or diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The free webinar takes place online using Zoom on Thursday, August 26th, from 7-8pm.

Register now and submit your questions for the experts at, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event – Croí want to help you to regain your confidence and get back to living your life again.

Living with cardiovascular disease can be very difficult. At times, you may feel unsure of what to expect or limited by tiredness and pain, and this may cause feelings like sadness and hopelessness. The interactive panel discussion will address your priorities and concerns. Experts on the night include Noelle O’Keeffe, Senior Counselling Psychologist and Professional Coach, Tallaght University Ireland; and Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes, Croí.

“It is normal to feel down or depressed after a cardiac event like a heart attack, a heart surgery or procedure, or a new diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Many people with CVD will experience psychological distress, particularly depression. With support and treatment, it is possible to recover from depression and take care of your heart health,” says Dr. Lisa Hynes.

Register now at, or call Croí on 091-544310.

Minding your Heart Health

Join Croí for a special heart health webinar for the Erris Community!

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, is delighted to announce a special online event for the Erris community in North Mayo focussing on “Minding your Heart Health”.

Join Croí and leading experts including Prof. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist, for this free webinar, supported by Vermilion Energy, online using Zoom on Thursday, August 12th, from 7–8pm.

Register here and submit your questions for the experts, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event.

Speakers on the night include:

  • Prof. Jim Crowley – Consultant Cardiologist
  • Ailish Houlihan – Self-Management Support Co-ordinator for Long-term Health Conditions with Community Healthcare West
  • Zoe McCrudden – Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist

The expert speakers will answer your questions and address your heart health priorities and concerns.

“We are delighted to offer this special event to the Erris Community through our Third Age Mayo programme. We want to put a spotlight on heart health, especially for people over the age of 55 years old. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are more common as we get older, but if detected early, many heart conditions such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) can be treated so that people can have a longer and better quality of life,” says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

Supported by: 

Croí World Stroke Day Webinar – 2020

Croí invited the public to a FREE webinar to learn more about stroke and stroke recovery on World Stroke Day, October 29th, 2020.

Guest speakers included:
Dr. Niamh Hannon, Consultant in Stroke & Geriatric Medicine
Norita Ní Chartúr, Stroke Survivor
Trish Galvin, Advanced Nurse Practitioner Stroke Care
Ciara Breen, Senior Occupational Therapist

If you missed the live webinar, watch it here now!

Putting Focus on Stroke – World Stroke Day, Thursday October 29th.

As many as 1 in 5 people in Galway will have a stroke at some time in their lives. A stroke which is a ‘brain attack’ – is to the brain, what a heart attack is to the heart, says local heart & stroke charity Croí, ahead of World Stoke Day on Thursday October 29th.

“Stroke is one of the biggest causes of death and disability across the world” says Croí CEO Neil Johnson. “A stroke, which is a blood clot or bleed in the brain, can be fatal and cause death or cause irreversible damage to different parts of the brain which control, for example, our speech, our thinking or our movement. Many causes of stroke are completely outside of our control, however, there are some causes which we can prevent, such as high blood pressure or untreated heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation.

To mark World Stroke Day, Croí invites people to a FREE Webinar on Thursday October 29th from 7pm – 8.30pm to learn more about stroke, stroke recovery and how to prevent one. A panel of local medical and nursing experts will speak on the causes and signs and symptoms of a stroke while a local stroke survivor will share her experience of stroke, stroke recovery and living life after a stroke. The event is supported by local company, Surmodics (Ballinasloe) who are corporate partners to the Croí Stroke Programmes & Supports.

Announcing details of the event, Croí CEO Neil Johnson says “this is a great opportunity to learn more about stroke, its impact and most importantly the steps we can take to reduce our risk of a stroke. People usually think of a stroke as an older persons problem but unfortunately, stroke has no respect for age or gender. In fact, we are increasingly seeing more cases or ‘young and working age’ strokes. The impact of a stroke can be devastating both for the survivor and their families. While incredible advances have been made in terms of stroke detection and stroke treatment, we have a long way to go in Ireland in terms of stroke recovery and rehabilitation post hospital discharge.”

Guest speakers on the Croí World Stroke Day Webinar on October 29th are:

  • Dr Niamh Hannon, Stroke Specialist, Galway University Hospital
  • Trish Galvin, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Stroke Care, Galway University Hospital
  • Ciara Breen, Senior Occupational Therapist, Galway University Hospital
  • Norita Ní Chartúr, Stroke Survivor

Registration for this Webinar, which is FREE, is now open at