- Heart Conditions
- Heart Treatments
- Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Management
- Personalised External Aortic Root Support
- Electrophysiology Testing for Arrhythmias
- Cardiac Ablation
- Cardiac Catheterisation (Coronary Angiogram)
- Coronary Angioplasty (Coronary Stenting)
- Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
- Renal Denervation for Hypertension
- Advanced Therapies to Treat Heart Failure
- Permanent Pacemakers and Implantable Defibrillators (ICDs)
- Valve Repair or Replacement (Mitral Valve Surgery & TAVI)
- Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)
- Heart Scans and Tests
- Imaging Services
- Lung Conditions
- Lung Treatments
- Diagnostic Services
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is one of the top causes of death in the UK, and worldwide. It is a result of the build-up of fatty substances within the coronary arteries, causing blockages and the arteries to become narrow and rigid. This restricts blood flow to the heart, and the supply of oxygen and nutrients, which has a direct effect on the heart’s function.
Coronary heart disease is caused by a build-up of fatty deposits within the coronary arteries – the arteries around the heart. This process is called: ‘atherosclerosis’.
The following lifestyle factors can cause atherosclerosis to develop:
- High cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
- Family history of CHD
The main symptom of coronary artery disease is angina, a condition which produces a feeling of pain, discomfort, tightness or pressure across the front of the chest.
Other symptoms include: shortness of breath, heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, nausea, sweating or dizziness.
Untreated coronary artery disease can lead to stroke, heart attack or heart failure. It is therefore important to watch out for the above symptoms and seek advice from a health professional to ensure you get the right treatment.
If you or your GP suspects that you may be at risk of developing CHD, it is recommended that you undergo an initial risk assessment. This involves an assessment of your lifestyle, medical history and family history, a blood pressure test and a blood test to evaluate cholesterol levels in your blood. In order to confirm a diagnosis of CHD, you may be referred to a specialist for more tests.
These may include:
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Coronary angiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Computerised tomography (CT) scans
- Radionuclide tests
With the right treatment, the symptoms of Coronary artery disease can be managed and the heart function improved. Treatment typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication, although surgery may sometimes be required in severe cases or when the first two approaches have not worked.
- Lifestyle changes – healthy eating, exercise and quitting smoking (if you smoke) can all help to reduce the symptoms of CHD and reduce the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
- Medication – A range of medications can be used to directly reduce blood pressure or widen the arteries.
- Surgery – The following procedures may be carried out to widen or unblock the coronary arteries: Coronary Angioplasty, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft and Heart Transplant.
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Keep a Healthy Heart
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