The more risk factors for coronary heart disease you have, the greater your chance of developing it. The good news is that for most risk factors, you can do something about them.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can increase your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried around the body by proteins. When cholesterol and proteins are combined, they are called lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins:
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is known as the bad type of cholesterol. LDL carry cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the good type of cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down.
If you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone without diabetes.
Diabetes causes high levels of glucose in your blood. This can affect the walls of your arteries, and make them more likely to develop fatty deposits (atheroma).
If atheroma builds up in your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart) you will develop coronary heart disease, which can cause heart attack and angina.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure isn’t usually something that you can feel or notice, but if you have As many as 7 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, without knowing they are at risk.
The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.
Everyone should know their blood pressure. We recommend that everyone over 40 gets their blood pressure taken by a nurse or doctor as part of a health check to assess their risk for getting cardiovascular disease.