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CORONARY HEARTY DISEASE (CHD)

congenital

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is when your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood) become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.

This condition is called atherosclerosis and the fatty material is called atheroma.

In time, your arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart. The pain and discomfort you may feel as a result is called angina.

If a piece of atheroma breaks off it may cause a blood clot (blockage) to form. If it blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, your heart may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack.

Risk factors for coronary heart disease

A risk factor is something that that increases your likelihood of getting a disease. There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing CHD. The main ones are:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Ethnic background
  • Sex – men are more likely to develop CHD at an earlier age than women.
  • Age – the older you are, the more likely you are to develop CHD.

The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop CHD. Even though you can’t change all your risk factors, there is plenty you can do to reduce your risk and help to protect your heart.

CHD diagnosis and risk assessment

You will need a health and heart check to assess your risk of coronary heart disease if you are between 40 and 74 years old

There are many types of heart check up. At IJN, the healthcare professional will check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and talk to you about your lifestyle. Based on the results, they will give you practical advice about keeping your heart healthy.

If you have a heart problem already, is there any treatment?

Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you, depending on the type of heart problem that you have. These may vary from taking medication, to having surgery or a medical procedure.Even if you already have a heart condition it’s still really important protect your heart byliving a healthy lifestyle.

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