Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – also known as heart and circulatory disease – is the biggest killer in the UK. It includes conditions such as coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) and stroke.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused by a gradual build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the coronary arteries, causing them to narrow.
Over time the artery may become so narrow that it cannot deliver enough oxygen to the heart, especially during exercise or exertion. This can lead to angina – a pain or discomfort in your chest.
If a piece of this fatty material breaks away from the artery wall it can cause a clot to form, which will starve your heart of blood and oxygen. This is a heart attack.
If you suspect you or someone else is having a heart attack, call 112 immediately.
If you are worried about any aspect of heart health, make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Medcare GP.
If you have hypertension (high blood pressure) your heart will have to work harder to pump blood around your body. Persistent high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure levels and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment may prove necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.
If your blood pressure is high, Medcare’s GP can help you to find the best treatment for lowering it. Advice on lifestyle and diet will be given and if medication is required Medcare’s GP can monitor this for you.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and diastolic. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm/Hg. The first figure is the systolic blood pressure, the pressure there is in the arteries when your heart is contracting. The lower figure, is the diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries between heart beats. High blood pressure is anything above 140/90 mm/Hg. The Medcare GP can check your blood pressure.