Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the UK and is on the rise, especially in younger patients. With all our advancements in medicine, how can this be the case?
There are many different causes. One is that we are more sedentary than ever, making us susceptible to diseases and conditions linked to heart disease like diabetes and high blood pressure. Another is stress. It is well established that stress and poor mental health are contributing factors to heart disease, a worrying link given how many people are suffering from what is being called “post-pandemic stress syndrome.”
Types of Heart Disease
There are many types of heart disease. Some are present from birth whereas others develop later in life. The most common cardiac conditions in the UK include:
- Coronary Heart Disease: CHD is a major cause of death in the UK and occurs when the vessels that bring blood to your heart become blocked.
- Angina: Chest pain that is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles and makes you more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
- Heart Attack: A medical emergency where the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked.
- Heart Failure: Heart failure happens when the heart has become too weak or stiff to pump blood throughout the body.
Heart Disease Treatment
Sometimes medications are prescribed to help manage heart disease, such as blood thinners, statins, beta-blockers or nitrates. Other cases may need medical or surgical intervention like having a pacemaker inserted or undergoing bypass surgery.
Prevent Heart Disease
The best way to treat heart disease is to prevent it from developing. Healthy lifestyle changes can drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease and any conditions linked to it.
- Quit smoking
- Cut back on alcohol
- Stay as active as possible
- Eat fewer fatty, high-sodium, and processed foods
- Reduce sugar intake, especially from energy drinks or sodas
You should also check in with your doctor if you suspect you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Both illnesses make you more likely to develop heart disease and it is estimated that millions of Britons have undiagnosed diabetes or high blood pressure.
Blood tests and screening for conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are available from Touchwood Pharmacy.