A HEART disease expert has described her shock at the level of illness she has seen in Scotland since moving to the country to help turn around health problems.
Professor Rhian Touyz spoke out two years after she was appointed director of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow.
“I have never seen such really complex, bad cardiovascular disease,” she said, speaking ahead of World Hypertension Day on Friday.
“Young patients come with bad diabetes, bad cholesterol and have already had a stroke.
“It is worse than I imagined. I was shocked because the patients were so young.
Touyz is from South Africa and has worked across North America and Canada, where she said attitudes are markedly different.
She called for a similar approach to publicly-available blood pressure monitoring devices and machines. Being able to check your own blood pressure would help tackle conditions such as hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, she said.
“People present at emergency departments with a massive stroke and are totally incapacitated in their 50s.
“If their blood pressure was picked up in a supermarket as being high, this would be prevented.”
However, Touyz, who is also the British Heart Foundation chairman of cardiovascular medicine, said that she had been impressed with patients’ willingness to take part in medical research since her move to Scotland.