Pople are being encouraged to know more about their blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a bid to identify people at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the cause of one in four deaths in England. The term cardiovascular disease is a general term for a number of conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels.Four of the main types of CVD include; coronary heart disease, strokes,peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease.Coronary heart disease is when the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked. This can lead to what is commonly known as a heart attack. Strokes are where the blood supply to the brain is cut off, peripheral arterial disease is when there is a blockage in the arteries to the limbs, usually the legs and aortic disease is a group of conditions that can arise when the aorta has been damaged.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can be signs that something is wrong and can be contributors to CVD. Experts are therefore encouraging people over 40 to have health checks so that evasive action could be taken. These checks could be completed by your GP or some pharmacies are also carrying them out.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid.It is a vital substance for the normal functioning of the body. It is carried in your blood by proteins. Cholesterol levels should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults. If you have too much cholesterol then it can build up in the arteries which in turn will restrict blood flow to the heart, brain and entire body. Control of cholesterol levels are therefore vital in protecting the heart.
High cholesterol can be caused by eating too much saturated fat, foods like butter, cakes, biscuits and cheese. It is linked to smoking, as a chemical in smoking called acrolein, stops cholesterol getting to the liver and diabetes and high blood pressure can also be causes of high cholesterol.
Blood pressure uses two numbers. the first is the systolic pressure at which heart pumps blood round your body and the second number is the distolic pressure which is a measure of the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels.Your ideal blood pressure is usually between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80mmHg. High blood pressure is usually between 140/90mmHg or even higher.
If you have high blood pressure as you would imagine it puts extra strain on your blood vessels and organs which can lead to CVD.
There is still research needed on what causes high blood pressure but it is clear that you are at risk if you are obese, eat too much salt and don't eat enough fruit and vegetables. There is also a link with people who don't exercise, who smoke and consume too much caffeine,
There are ways you can reduce your chances of getting heart disease. they are to not smoke, to eat healthily and keep your weight to a healthy level and to also look at the amount of alcohol you consume. Certainly reducing the amount of fatty food you eat and eating more vegetables and wholegrain cereals will help prevent high cholesterol.Exercise is also very important. But as the research suggests if you can get an early warning that your blood pressure is high or your cholesterol levels are also too high you may be given an early warning of CVD so that you can take action to avoid serious heart disease.