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Professor Vincent Maher, a Consultant Cardiologist from Tallaght Hospital, and a number of his colleagues will be participating in an inaugural 10-day cycle of the length and breadth of Ireland, in an effort to raise cholesterol awareness and funds for the establishment of the Advanced Lipid Management and Research (ALMAR) Centre at Tallaght Hospital.

The cycle will begin in Malin Head, Co. Donegal on June 30th and end in Dillon Park, Dalkey, Co. Dublin on July 9th. High cholesterol is prevalent in Ireland, posing an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, particularly among smokers, or people who have diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure.

Ireland lacks accurate information on the extent of its cholesterol-related issues, as there is currently no national screening strategy or dedicated resources in hospitals, primary care or the community to diagnose and treat cholesterol-related disorders effectively so as to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Therefore, the resourced centre is intended to provide support to patients with challenging cholesterol disorders, facilitate family screening and help refine patients’ diagnoses with the use of more specialised investigations.

Commenting on the cycle Professor Vincent Maher commented, “As my first major cycle I am approaching this challenge with some trepidation but also a lot of determination.

“Irish society is facing an enormous challenge to raise awareness of cholesterol and the health threats it presents for many people. Put quite simply, many people who are at risk are unaware of their situation. This is why it is important to educate people about their health and how to look after themselves. On this cycle, we will be visiting all corners of Ireland to meet the general public and also to raise money for a dedicated research centre at Tallaght Hospital.

“It is hoped that we in Ireland can replicate the extensive national research studies that have been done in places such as England in order to better inform us about the health challenges we face.”

In addition to cycling, the team will be making a number of schedules stops to ask members of the public to test their cholesterol numbers with their “Cholesterol Happens – Know Your Number” event.