Heart disease is the greatest cause of ill health and death throughout the western world. It accounts for approximately half of all deaths each year. Millions of people suffer a heart attack every year. Half of these cases are fatal, with about 70% of patients dying before they reach hospital.
The heart is a vital organ, pumping blood around the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. Blood containing carbon dioxide and other waste products is then pumped back to the lungs for cleansing.
The cardiovascular system comprises of the heart, blood and a complex system of arteries, veins and capillaries. Heart disease means any problem that affects both the heart and circulation.
Chronic Heart Disease
The characteristic squeezing chest pain of angina is a widespread condition in the UK, with 2 million people sufferers. Half of these are under the age of 60.
The risk of having a heart attack may be signalled by the development of angina, but this is not always the case. Heart attacks can occur unannounced, and mostly effect middle aged men. The most common time to suffer one is early morning, in particular on a Monday.
Causes of heart disease
Poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and exposure to stress all contribute to the disease process. Most importantly, these factors are within our capability to change, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.