Coronary heart disease, often referred to simply as heart disease, is a disease of the heart and blood vessel system. It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart.
One reason many people aren’t too concerned about heart disease, especially women, is that they think it can be “cured” with surgery. This is a myth. Heart condition is a lifelong condition-once you get it, you will always have it. Procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty can help blood and oxygen flow to the heart more easily. But the arteries remain damaged, which means you are more likely to have a heart attack.
Am I At Risk?
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Some risk factors, such as age and family history of early heart disease, can’t be changed. While these risk factors cannot be changed, it is important to realize that you do have control over many others.
Important risk factors for heart disease that you can do something about are:
high blood pressure
high blood cholesterol
You can lower your risk of heart disease by taking action and addressing each risk factor.
EMH Reginal Healthcare System booklet