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What is the Irish Heart Foundation?
The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke.
Our Vision
Our vision is that every person living in Ireland will live a long, active and healthy life free from heart, stroke and blood vessel disease.
Our Mission 
Our mission is to lead in improving the cardiovascular health of people living in Ireland so they do not experience disability or die from preventable heart, stroke and other blood vessel diseases.
No.1 killer
Together, heart disease and stroke claim more lives in Ireland than any other cause of death with almost 10,000 deaths occurring annually. One hundred thousand people are clinically diagnosed with stroke or coronary heart disease in Ireland each year and one in three people will die from these illnesses.
Some hard hitting facts:
·       Women are 7 times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer
·       Every hour a man, woman or child dies from heart disease and stroke
·       Every week a baby, child or teen dies from sudden cardiac death

IHF positioning statement:
The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Today in Ireland more people die from heart and stroke-related illnesses than from cancer, road deaths and suicide combined. Against this background we work to bring hope, relief and a better future to families all over Ireland. We give vital patient support through one to one advice on our National Heart & Stroke helpline Locall 1890 432 787 and we provide high quality public information for all. We support pioneering medical research, campaign for improved patient care, and promote positive public health strategies. We work in hospitals, schools and workplaces to support, educate and train people to save lives. As a charity we are dependent on the generosity of the public to continue our vital good work. You can support our work by making a donation, giving of your time to volunteer or by learning the skills needed to save a life through our courses.
What we do
• We support vital heart and stroke research to bring a brighter future
• We inform you through our campaigns, booklets and website
• We educate your children to get active and eat well
• We listen to you on our national heart and stroke helpline 1890 432 787
• We are here for you through our patient support groups
• We advocate giving you a voice so you get the best treatment
• We help save lives through lifesaving resuscitation programmes
More detailed  about what we do - the Irish Heart Foundation:
Provides health information to patients, the general public and media through leaflets, our website ( and awareness campaigns
Supports patients in managing heart disease and stroke through our Heart & Stroke Helpline, patient support groups and patient information days
Provides heart health programmes in schools and workplaces focusing on healthy eating and physical activity
Co-ordinates the training of medics and the public in emergency lifesaving resuscitation skills (CPR and how to use a defibrillator)
Supports research, education and development in the medical profession
Advocates on patient treatment and services, as well as for an environment to make the healthier choice the easier choice.
Heart disease 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common cause of death in Ireland claiming almost 10,000 lives annually and which accounts for 33% of all deaths. CVD refers to heart disease, stroke and other blood vessel disease. Of deaths from CVD, it estimated that 5,000 are caused by sudden cardiac arrest when a heart stops beating suddenly. This can be due to an underlying heart condition, following a heart attack or unknown cause. 13% of CVD deaths are premature occurring in people aged under 65 years.
About 2,000 people die from stroke each year accounting for more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer combined. About 10,000 people suffer stroke annually and there are an estimated 50,000 people in the community with residual disability from stroke. The Irish Heart Foundation launched the first ever national F.A.S.T. stroke symptom awareness campaign.  Thanks to a combination of increased stroke awareness and advocacy campaigning by the Foundation, the thrombolysis rate to provide lifesaving clot-busting treatment has grown by 500%. This is estimated to save 150 lives per year. In November 2012, the charity hosted its third national annual stroke awards to mark the bravery of stroke survivors and their families.
The Irish Heart Foundation awards research grants and bursaries to support new ideas and young researchers in Ireland seeking the next breakthrough to make life better for heart and stroke patients. Research carried out by the Foundation showed that reducing mortality from CVD between 1985 and 2000 was due in 50/50 combination to treatment and prevention. Thanks to research, both treatments and approaches to prevention continue to improve and help more people live longer, healthier lives as a result.
Patient support and information services
Anyone worried about heart or stroke problems can talk one to one with an Irish Heart Foundation nurse on our National Heart & Stroke Helpline Locall 1890 432 787. (Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm). The helpline is entirely funded by public donations. In addition, the Irish Heart Foundation is the number one provider of heart and stroke information in Ireland through dedicated websites and www.stroke.ieand provides vital support to patients through support groups and networks, public information days and booklets.
As well as stroke, the IHF advocates on important issues such as obesity, smoking, tobacco smuggling, marketing of unhealthy foods to children and more. In an effort to reduce the number of people developing heart disease, the Foundation is working to lower the barriers to heart healthy living by working with the government and food industry to encourage a more responsible approach to food labellingand marketing. The Foundation also provides 50% funding of ASH Ireland, the anti-tobacco lobbying organisationand advocates strongly against tobacco smuggling to protect the population’s health. The Foundation is also represented on the Government’s task force on Sudden Adult Death and as Ireland’s ageing population expands, services for chronic conditions like Heart Failure, are high on our charity’s advocacy agenda.
Health promotion
The Irish Heart Foundation provides a range of healthcare initiatives in communities, schools and workplaces educating children and adults on healthy eating, physical activity, quitting smoking and how to manage risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol and obesity. In addition, the Foundation is the driving force behind 200 Slí na Sláinte walkways (pathway to health) located throughout communities nationwide.
The Irish Heart Foundation resuscitation programme trains 65,000 people in the lifesaving skills of CPR and defibrillation annually.  The Irish Heart Foundation courses are provided through affiliated training sites and cater for all levels - from families and members of the public to healthcare professionals and advanced paramedics.
The Irish Heart Foundation relies on charitable donations from the public and corporate for more than 90% of its funding. A small share of funding is received from the Government.
Since 1966, our charity has led the way delivering vital heart health messages to the nation – and IT’S WORKING. At the Irish Heart Foundation we believe more lives will be saved and more people will live longer lives – if they know how to take care of their hearts and blood vessels. Ireland’s death rate from cardiovascular disease has dropped from 54 per cent of all deaths in the 1980’s to 33 per cent of deaths today.


  • IHF stroke research breakthrough to save lives from risk of secondary stroke, 2012
  • Launched national heart attack awareness animated TV campaign 2011
  • Launched first national FAST stroke symptom campaign, 2010
  • IHF resuscitation programme trains 65,000 people in lifesaving CPR and defibrillator skills annually
  • In 2009, 27,000 Transition year students were trained in CPR skills thanks to self-training kits provided by IHF (this was in addition to those trained by IHF resuscitation programme)
  • National Stroke Audit launched in 2008
  • National Heart & Stroke Helpline founded in 2006
  • Advocacy - smoking ban introduced in 2004
  • ‘Slí na Sláinte’ signposted walking routes in more than 200 locations nationwide
  • ‘Action for Life’ physical activity programme in primary and secondary schools
  • Coronary care units in all hospitals 1966-1975

The Irish Heart Foundation has 45 staff. The main office is in Dublin with one regional office in Cork and regional fundraising contacts available for the southeast, northwest and northeast.
Irish Heart Foundation, Head Office, 50 Ringsend Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 01 668 5001 Heart & Stroke Helpline Locall: 1890 432 787
Email: info@irishheart.ieWeb:
Social media:

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