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About CHD

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading single cause of death in the UK and it will claim the lives of 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women. In addition, it can cause years of disability and ill health.

The 2003 Health Survey for England suggests the prevalence of CHD is 6.4% in men and 4.1% in women. Prevalence rates increase with age, with 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women aged 75 years and above living with CHD. 

However, mortality rates from CHD have been falling in the UK since the late 1970s. For people under 65 years, they have fallen by 46% in the last ten years. In 2003 coronary heart disease was responsible for 120,000 deaths in the UK annually, but by 2005 this number had decreased to 101,000.

The goverment's target is to reduce the death rate from heart disease and related illnesses in those aged under 75 by two-fifths by 2010.

But what is coronary heart disease?

It is a disease of the heart caused by decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. The cause is usually the narrowing of the coronary arteries, known as atherosclerosis. This narrowing is caused by a 'plaque' consisting of fat globules and cholesterol deposited within the arteries.

This can result in heart attack - also known as myocardial infarction, or it can result in chest pain - known as angina.

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