Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease

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.

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.  (NHS Choices, 2015)

A risk factor is something that that increases your likelihood of getting a disease. There are several risk factors for 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. (British Heart Foundation, 2015)


Small Steps to Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) -- Sally (British)

To view more videos on this topic, visit the Sound and Vision page

CHD is responsible for nearly 70,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 190 people each day, or one death every eight minutes.
British Heart Foundation 'Headline Statistics', 2015.


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