Heart Q&As

Often asked questions about preventing heart attacks and heart diseases

  1. What does the NHS say are the main types of heart and blood vessels diseases, and best ways to prevent them?
  2. Why does the NHS say you know if you have a healthy heart and healthy blood vessels, which could help you live 6 to 9 years longer and enjoy life more? [21].
  3. What’s it like to have a heart attack when you’re young?
  4. NHS Health Check bannerWhen will you be invited by your GP for an NHS Health Check?


5. Is there a population heart screening programme in England?  Abdominal aortic aneurysm AAA screening, is for men aged 65 and over. It is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy. Large aneurysms are rare but serious. Around 85 out of 100 people die when an aneurysm bursts.
6.  Want to check your personal risk of getting heart diseases? Use NHS official heart age calculator.
7.  Why do people who follow NHS guidelines for a healthy diet, and take regular exercise have lower rates of heart diseases and deaths? [11, 18]
Blood pressure chart BPA
8. To reduce your high blood pressure? Follow treatments your doctor recommends. Want 12 extra ways to cut your blood pressure without drugs?
9. If you are ‘Fat but fit’, are you at increased risk of heart disease?
10. What are good heart beat rates while you are at rest or exercising?  If my heart seems to be beating very fast sometimes, what should I do? See your GP if you notice a sudden change.  At rest, the NHS says a normal adult heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute. In ‘atrial fibrillation (AF)’, the heart rate can be much higher. Important to identify AF early, as people with undetected AF are at risk of experiencing an AF related stroke. See NHS advice for the public on AF.
11. A blood clot can be serious. If it travels to the lungs it can cause a blockage and thousands of deaths each year. People in hospital have a higher chance of a blood clots because if they are unwell or not moving around their blood may not flow well. What are NHS NICE’s simple steps to prevent blood clots in hospital?
12. What is the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest – watch BHF video!
13. What are the symptoms of a heart valve problem? The valves make sure that the blood flows through them in one direction, and make sure that the blood does not go back into the heart once pumped out. If one or more of the 6 heart valves become damaged or diseased, it can affect the flow of blood through your heart. It may need treatment with medicines or surgery, perhaps the new tiny Mitraclip being endorsed by NICE.
14. How have others like you improved heart health?  Ten top tips from the NHS.
15. Is there a good Heart Helpline I could talk to? Try the British Heart Foundation one.
16. Watch video: How do statins prevent heart attacks and strokes? (by BHF)
clinician 2
17. How to get the best from your GP?
Actions?  pointing finger2If you take decisions using the answers to these questions, we recommend putting them into your draft personal healthcare plan here  for discussion with your doctor/GP.

page updated 1 March 2019.  © 2019 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.

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