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Coronary heart disease (CHD)

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Introduction

Biology Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which can cause clogging and lead to restricted blood flow, which will damage the heart. CHD is the number one killer in the United Kingdom1. In 1991 alone, it caused the death of around 171,000 people, a quarter of who were still under the age of 651. Another problem is that this disease has not shown any signs of it decreasing amongst the population. There are 5 main risk factors1 which can contribute towards CHD which are: 1. Hypertension 2. Smoking 3. Diabetes 4. High cholesterol 5. Family history of heart disease. Other minor risk factors include lack of regular exercise, stress and type A personalities (impatient, aggressive, competitive). If the government wants to tackle CHD, they need to target the major causes individually. The first major cause listed is hypertension, or high blood pressure. This can be affected by a series of factors such as a lack of exercise and a high salt diet. This tends to be a large problem in this country in particular due to many people now choosing to eat ready-made meals or processed food from supermarkets, which usually have a high salt content3. ...read more.

Middle

Annual Mortality per 10,000 men Smokers Current no. of cigarettes per day Cause of death Non smokers Former Current 1-14 15-24 25+ CHD 572 678 892 802 892 1,025 The above table shows exactly how smoking can cause an increase in CHD deaths7. If the public were made aware of these facts then they would be able to get an idea of how serious, smoking is and how big the effect is. It shows that by simply stopping they will reduce their chances of CHD and that even though people once were smokers, they will have a much lower chance than those who still smoke. The government has already introduced some schemes such as making Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) available on prescription8. A third factor is diabetes. Those who suffer from diabetes will tend to be more at risk from suffering from vascular disease, as well as kidney problems (and therefore hypertension), eye problems, and peripheral nerve disease5. To help these people from possibly developing CHD, there needs be better control of diabetes which will help limit the effects or progression of the disease. Diabetes causes blockage and hardening (atherosclerosis) ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, to cut down the number of CHD cases in the future, projects to improve the health of younger people should be contemplated. One of the biggest way of doing this would be by making more improved school meals available2. Projects such as the 'five-a-day' fruit scheme have begun to be put in place in schools to encourage school children to eat a piece of fruit instead of sweets or other fatty foods as snacks8. Some ways in which the government has already begun to use are things such as rapid access chest pain clinics which were introduced in 2001 and are slowly being introduced into more areas. In addition to this, at least 75% of A&E departments are now fully equipped to provide thrombolysis, which is the breaking up of blood clots, as well as some ambulances carrying the necessary equipment8. Also, there has been the introduction of defibrillators in public such as airport terminals or shopping centres, as well as a community volunteer defibrillation scheme1. So, the government hasn't totally ignored CHD, but there are many more schemes which can be put into operation as well as possible expansion on current and existing projects. ...read more.

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