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What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked or reduced. This is due to a build-up of fatty substances in the blood vessels that supply the heart.

Signs and symptoms

The main symptoms of Coronary heart disease are:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure

What causes Coronary heart disease?

There are a number of factors that may increase the risk of developing Coronary heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a family history of CHD
  • Are of South Asian origin

Reducing your risk

Although you cannot change some of the risk factors there is plenty you can do to help reduce your risk of developing Coronary heart disease. Eating healthily and exercising can help to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Reducing a high saturated fat and salt intake will be particularly beneficial. Physical activity helps to make your heart and circulation work more effectively.

Help and support

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing it is important to speak to your GP. In Scotland, if you are worried about developing Coronary heart disease you can have a free health check to assess your risk if you are between 40 and 64. Coronary heart disease cannot be cured but, with the right treatment, the symptoms and the functioning of the heart can be improved.

Useful contacts

The British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation provide information, support and advice to people affected by heart conditions.
Helpline: 0300 330 3311 or visit

Smokeline is Scotland’s national stop smoking helpline open every day from 8am to 10pm: 0800 84 84 84.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland provide information, support and advice to people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illness.
Helpline: 0808 801 0899 or visit

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