Lifestyle Advice

  • Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist

    It is important for everyone to exercise regularly. Heart Research have really good resources for adults with congenital heart problems. Have a look at their website for more information.
    Heart Research Website for teenagers and young people

    • Do you know how much exercise you should be doing?
    • Do you want to try a different sport / activity?
    • Do you want to get back to exercise after surgery?

    Please contact the Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist Sarah Hibbert to discuss the best activities for you and your heart 0113 392 6361

  • Education and Career Advice

    We can provide information and advice for your school about your heart condition.
    It is important that you know where to get the right career advice as you may need to be realistic about your career options. Those with rigorous fitness tests such as the armed forces or police may not be an option. However that is not to say that there is not the right job out there for you. Connexions direct are a really useful source of information offering advice on education choices and careers. They can be contacted on 0808 001 3219 or http://www.leedspathways.org.uk/connexions/.

    You may feel that your heart condition may make it difficult for you to find a job. The website https://www.gov.uk/careers-helpline-for-teenagers is a useful resource with information about disability employment advisers who can help you to find a job to suit you or help in practical ways to enable you to work.

    Other useful websites
    https://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk is for young people with mobility needs and has advice about choosing a career and work placements.

  • Travel Information

    The majority of people with congenital heart disease can and do fly/travel long distances around the world. If you are unsure ask at your outpatient appointment or contact us. The most important point to remember is to ensure that you declare your heart condition when booking travel insurance. Any omissions or mistakes made in relation to your medical condition can be used as grounds to refuse your claim if made.

    If necessary a medical letter can be provided, but the majority of companies do not require this. We can provide you with a list of insurance companies and The Somerville Foundation is also a useful source of information Tel: 0800 854 759.

  • Insurance

    It can be difficult for some people who have congenital heart disease to get insurance. This is often because companies do not have the medical knowledge relating to specific congenital heart conditions or there is a lack of long-term survival data available. This can cause problems when tying to buy a house or get life insurance.

    The best advice is to shop around as there can be marked differences between companies. It is important that you inform the insurance company of your medical condition to ensure that you are fully covered. There are some more sympathetic insurers who can be identified and contacted through the Somerville Foundation Tel: 0800 854 759.

  • Contraception and Pregnancy

    Contraception and pregnancy may have implications for people with congenital heart disease. It is especially important for girls with congenital heart disease to avoid unplanned pregnancies. It is also important that you know what types of contraception are okay for you to use as not all of them are suitable for people with congenital heart disease.

    Even though this is something you might not have thought of yet, contraception and possible future pregnancies will be discussed with you during one of your first visits to the Adult Congenital Heart clinic. This is to give you as much information as possible so that you can make choices about your future when you are ready. If you would like some more information about contraception before you meet the Adult Congenital Heart Team you can either contact the Cardiac Nurse Specialists or your GP.