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Coronary heart disease

What should you know about coronary heart disease?

The heart is a muscle about the size of your fist. It pumps blood around your body and beats approximately 70 times a minute. After the blood leaves the right side of the heart, it goes to your lungs where it picks up oxygen.

The oxygen-rich blood returns to your heart and is then pumped to the body's organs through a network of arteries. The blood returns to your heart through veins before being pumped back to your lungs again. This process is called circulation.

The heart gets its own supply of blood from a network of blood vessels on the heart's surface called coronary arteries.

What causes coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.

Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma.

Atherosclerosis can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, such as:

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death both in the UK and worldwide.

It's responsible for more than 73,000 deaths in the UK each year. About 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women die from CHD.

In the UK, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with CHD and around 2 million people affected by angina (the most common symptom of coronary heart disease). 

CHD generally affects more men than women, although from the age of 50 the chances of developing the condition are similar for both sexes.

As well as angina (chest pain), the main symptoms of CHD are heart attacks and heart failure. However, not everyone has the same symptoms and some people may not have any before CHD is diagnosed.

CHD is sometimes called ischaemic heart disease.

What can you do to prevent it and improve your self-care?

Prevention

You can reduce your risk of getting CHD by making some simple lifestyle changes. These include:

Keeping your heart healthy will also have other health benefits, such as helping reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.

Read more about preventing coronary heart disease.

What if you already have coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease can't be cured but treatment can help manage the symptoms and reduce the chances of problems such as heart attacks.

Treatment can include lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and stopping smoking, as well as medication and surgery.

Read more about treating coronary heart disease.

Contact details for local sources of help.

British Heart Foundation

Leading research aimed at preventing heart disease and premature deaths caused by the condition.

For their prevention work see here

Research has shown that people with severe mental health problems are two to three times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease due to medication and lifestyle factors. To read more on this subject click here.

10 minutes to change your life - click here to find out more about simple exercise that could transform you and your heart.

For other information from the British Heart Foundation, visit: www.bhf.org.uk/publications


Rushmoor Healthy Living

Delivering a variety of projects across the local community, working together with individuals, groups and companies with the aim of improving people’s health and wellbeing, whether through exercise and rehabilitation classes or through health education.

website: www.rhl.org.uk

email: admin@rhl.org.uk

Tel: 01252 362 660


See our advice pages on leading a healthy lifestyle. Click here.

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