Cardiovascular disease includes all diseases of the heart and circulation. This includes coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) heart failure, congenital heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. However, cardiovascular disease can be prevented and a change in lifestyle is the key.
Coronary heart disease can cause the symptoms of angina and can lead to a heart attack. This begins when the coronary arteries (i.e the arteries that supply oxygen-reach blood to the heart muscles) become narrowed by a gradual build up of fatty materials within their wall.
Angina (chest pain) can be caused when your arteries become narrow that not enough blood can flow through the heart muscle. Angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease. This is the chest pain or discomfort you feel when your arteries cannot deliver enough blood to your heart muscle.
Heart attack happens when a coronary heart becomes blocked by a blood clot. If the blood clot blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen rich blood to your heart muscle and your heart muscle may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack (or myocardial infarction). A heart attack could cause the development of a life threatening which may lead to a cardiac arrest. This is when someone losses consciousness and stop breathing and heart stop pumping.
Know the symptoms of heart attack and seek for help immediately.
A Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the part of the brain is cut off. Without a blood supply, brain cells can be damaged or destroyed, therefore, a stroke may affect the way your mind or body functions.
Common risk factor to cardiovascular disease (this is something that increases the chances of getting a disease).
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Having family history of coronary heart disease or stroke
Age – Chances increases as you are getting older
Sex – Men are more likely to develop coronary heart disease
High alcohol intake
How you deal with stress
Ethnic background – people from Africa and African Caribbean and South Asian are at higher risk.
Having a health check is important you can find about your future risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A health check takes into account all the risk factors that may affect you.
Ref. British Heart Foundation.