Coronary Heart Disease

Information on Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the biggest killer in the UK accounting for 4 out of every 10 deaths. In CHD, the blood vessels called arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients become narrowed by fatty deposits by a process called atherosclerosis. This causes a restriction in the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, and causes the symptom of chest pain. If you have a feeling of heaviness, tightness or pain in the middle of your chest that may extend to your arms, neck, jaw, face, back or abdomen, you require urgent medical assessment. If this discomfort does not settle after 5-10 minutes, you should call 999

 

There are several things that put you at higher risk of having CHD, but there are also lots of things that you can do to reduce your risk. These Include:

  • Stopping smoking - if you would like help with this, click here
  • Eating a healthy low fat diet and taking regular exercise at least three times a week
  • Keeping your weight within a normal level
  • Drinking alcohol within the recommended limits that is set to a maximum of 21 units a week for men, and no more than 14 units a week for women. Please note that 1 unit is equivalent to 1 small spirit, half a beer or a small glass of wine

If you have confirmed CHD, you will be invited for an annual review with our Practice Nurse. At this check, the Nurse will:

  • Discuss your symptoms and the impact your symptoms are having on you
  • Review your medications, and any side effects that you have
  • Check your weight, height and blood pressure
  • Take blood samples to check your kidney function, blood count, cholesterol level and sugar level
  • Address any risk factors for CHD as outlined above, and help you reduce these
  • Provide help with stopping smoking if applicable
  • Offer you the annual flu vaccine
  • Perform a screening test for depression as some patients with CHD develop low moods