By Ashlee Roberts
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death both in the UK and worldwide. It’s responsible for more than 73,000 deaths in the UK each year. About 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women die from CHD. In the UK, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with CHD and around 2 million people affected by angina. CHD generally affects more men than women, although from the age of 50 the chances of developing the condition are similar for both sexes.
People from south Asian communities can be up to six times more likely to have diabetes than the general population. Pakistani women are especially at risk. The risk of dying early from coronary heart disease is twice as high among South Asian groups compared with the general population. Experts aren’t sure why this is the case, but it may be linked to diet, lifestyle and different ways of storing fat in the body.
New healthy weight advice was issued in July 2013 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to south Asian adults.
• If you have a body mass index (BMI) score of 23 or more, you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
• If your BMI is 27.5 or more, you have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What are the causes?
• high cholesterol
• high blood pressure (hypertension)
Treating coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease can’t be cured but treatment can help manage the symptoms and reduce the chances of problems such as heart attacks.
Treatment can include lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and stopping smoking, as well as medication and surgery.
Read more about treating coronary heart disease.
You can reduce your risk of getting CHD by making some simple
lifestyle changes. These include:
• eating a healthy, balanced diet
• being physically active
• giving up smoking
• controlling blood cholesterol and sugar levels
Keeping your heart healthy will also have other health benefits, such as helping reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.