More about heart disease
Heart disease is the world’s number one killer, and includes heart attacks, heart valve disease, angina and heart failure. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle including sound diet and exercise is very effective at reducing the risk of heart disease.
One of the biggest risk factors for coronary heart disease is the development of small fatty lumps inside the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. These fatty lumps, known as atheroma, cause the blood vessels to narrow which forces the heart to beat faster to get enough oxygen from the reduced delivery of blood.
As these arteries become clogged up with atheroma, the normal flow of blood to the heart muscle is less efficient and the risks of angina, or a heart attack increase significantly.
There are some factors known to increase the risk of heart disease that we can’t change. These include being male, old age, ethnicity (being of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and African Caribbean descent), early menopause in women and a family history of cardiovascular disease.
If you have any of these fixed risk factors go the extra mile to avoid lifestyle risk factors. For example, smoking is a much greater risk than the majority of fixed risk factors.