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Cardiovascular Disease

Undestanding and Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases

10. Other Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease


10.1 Being overweight – obesity

 Question: I don’t feel overweight but the doctor says I am. Have I got more chance of developing heart disease because of this?

Answer: Very overweight (obese) people do have more chance of developing heart disease and this has been mentioned earlier.


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11. Angina



Each year in the most develop countris of EU more than 350 000 people visit their doctor for. angina. Over six million people in America and two million only in the United Kingdom are affected. Angina (pronounced ‘ann-jy-na’) is a symptom of a problem, not a disease in itself. It is usually caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries by atheroma. It can also be caused by a high blood pressure, disease of the aortic valve, severe anaemia, and rapid palpitations or a mixture of conditions. Far and away the commonest cause is coronary artery disease.


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12. Surgery - Angioplasty


I have been told that I need an angioplasty. What is this?

Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a method of using a balloon to squash or push the arterial narrowings out of the way. (The medical word for these narrowings is stenosis, pronounced ‘sten-oh-siss’.) PTCA is often shortened to ‘angioplasty’.

Because stents are used in nearly all cases (see later) we often call this percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

It is performed in the catheter laboratory usually by the same team who does the angiograms so you may meet some familiar faces. The doctor doing the operation will be the cardiologist, with whom you may already have had a consultation.


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13. Bypass surgery

I have had medication and lots of tests for angina. I am now being offered bypass surgery. Why do I need this?

Operations for coronary artery disease are usually designed to improve the blood supply to the heart. A decision by the consultant as to whether to advise an operation for you is based on your case history and on several special tests, including an electrocardiogram, an exercise test and an angiogram. This last test is the most crucial one for bypass operations as it demonstrates the exact position and extent of the narrowings. An operation may be advised because of the severity of the symptoms or the extent of the disease or both.


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14. Other Treatments for Angina

Most other treatments for angina have no scientifically proven benefit. That said, many people with angina do better with attention and encouragement.

Complementary therapies which encourage relaxation may be useful if you are stressed. In the 1930s it was shown that even placebo (inactive) tablets could be helpful, relieving pain in a third of people with angina. Any effects with unproven treatment may therefore be the results of the placebo effect.


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