Heart disease is the name given to a group of conditions that affect the structure of the heart and how it works. The heart pumps blood, oxygen and nutrients through the body. For the heart to work properly it must have a constant supply of blood.
Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease or ischaemic heart disease, is the leading cause of death globally. It is caused by disease of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis) of the heart1.
In addition to age, family history and ethnicity, the following factors put individuals at risk for heart disease:
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Physical inactivity.
- Being overweight or obese.
Heart disease can be prevented and managed by making healthy lifestyle changes. To prevent (and manage) heart disease you should:
If you have any of the risk factors above you should discuss heart disease with your health care provider.
1World Health Organization. “Chronic disease and their common risk factors”. Retrieved from: www.who.int.