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A heart in trouble
Although every year, fewer people die of heart disease, it still remains a big killer and millions of people are living with the condition and its side effects.
Many people may not even realise they have coronary heart disease until they experience angina or even have a heart attack. Although this can happen without warning, the ‘furring up’ of the arteries of the heart that lead to problems will have taken years to develop.
Over time, fatty deposits build up on the inside of the coronary arteries, the crucial tiny arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle so it can keep pumping, causing them to narrow and harden, a process known as ‘atherosclerosis’.
If they become narrowed, the heart will not get enough oxygen, which may lead to angina, a pain or tightness that is typically felt in the chest, arm, jaw, neck or stomach and usually when you exert yourself.
A heart attack occurs when a narrowed artery becomes blocked causing a part of the heart muscle to be completely starved of oxygen and die.
Preventing heart disease
Research has shown that, in most instances, coronary heart disease is preventable and if we make heart smart lifestyle changes, we can dramatically reduce our risk of heart disease.