Coronary heart disease is sometimes called coronary artery disease. The heart is a muscle and is about the size of your fist. The heart pumps blood around the body beating at about 70 beats per minute.

Blood leaves the heart and is taken to your lungs where it picks up oxygen. Your blood is now rich in oxygen and returns to your heart, it is then pumped to the organs of your body through a network of vessels called Arteries. Blood returning to your heart is carried through vessels called veins before it is pumped back to your lungs again. This process is called the circulation.

Your heart receives blood form a network of blood vessels called the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries deliver blood which is rich in oxygen to the heart’s muscle. There are two main arteries on the left and right side of your heart which divides many times this allows your blood to reach all the parts of the heart’s muscular wall.

The coronary arteries are very narrow tubes 3-4mm in diameter and can become further narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls. This can block or slow the flow of blood and oxygen through them. This process is known as atherosclerosis. The fatty deposits are called atheroma. In time the artery may become so narrow due to a build-up of atheroma, causing a restriction of blood supply to your heart. This can cause chest pains (Angina) which is due to lack of oxygen to heart muscle.

If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked by a blood clot this can cause a heart attack. (Myocardial Infarction.) Chest pain form a heart attack is usually more severe than angina and lasts longer. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in Cyprus.

Your risk of developing atherosclerosis is significantly increased if you are a cigarette smoker. have high blood pressure, have a high blood cholesterol level ,take little or no physical activity have diabetes have a diet high in fat, Other risk factors are being overweight or obese, drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of heart attack or angina.

Atheroma develops when the level of bad cholesterol LDL (low density lipoprotein) is too high, however HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) is good cholesterol because it helps to remove cholesterol from the circulation, and helps to protect the heart from coronary heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of and heart attacks and morbidity in Cyprus causing 600 deaths per year.

For further advice during your holiday in Cyprus you can contact Pafos Medical24 Services

Written by Christine Walker. Pafos Medical24 Services