ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE

Also called Coronary Heart Disease and Coronary Artery Disease, occurs when the blood vessels (known as coronary arteries) which supply the heart muscle become narrowed (clogged up). IHD causes heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction or coronary thrombosis. People with IHD often also have narrowing of blood vessels in other parts of the body including the brain, the kidneys and the feet. They have what is called Cardiovascular Disease. ‘Cardio’ refers to the heart and ‘vascular’ refers to the blood vessels). Cerebrovascular disease affects the brain. Peripheral vascular disease affects the blood vessels in the peripheries especially the feet.

Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of poor health and death in New Zealanders. There are a number of factors which can increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease – their Cardiovascular Risk.

The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand’s website gives helpful information:

www.heartfoundation.org.nz

You can calculate your cardiovascular risk (your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years) using the knowyournumbers tool:

www.knowyournumbers.co.nz

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