Briercliffe GP Surgery

Opening hours Monday to Friday (8am to 6.30pm)

Briercliffe GP Surgery

Opening hours Mon to Fri (8am to 6pm)

About Chronic Heart Disease 



Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death both in the UK and worldwide.  CHD is sometimes called ischaemic heart disease.


The main symptoms of CHD are:


- Chest pain (angina)
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure 


The heart is a muscle pump located in the chest which pumps blood around the body.  It keeps pumping from a few weeks after conception until we die.  There are a number of different conditions that can affect how the heart works.  Below is a brief overview of some of them.


For more information on the different types of heart disease, click here.



Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.


Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits.  This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma.  Atherosclerosis can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, such as:


- Smoking
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetes


If your doctor thinks you may be at risk of CHD, they may carry out a risk assessment for cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke.  This may be carried out as part of an NHS Health Check.


Your doctor will:


  • Ask about your medical and family history
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Do a blood test to assess your cholesterol level
  • Before having the cholesterol test, you may be asked not to eat for 12 hours so there is no food in your body that could affect the result
  • Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the blood test.  A sample will be taken either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger
  • Your GP will also ask about your lifestyle, how much exercise you do and whether you smoke.  All these factors will be considered as part of the diagnosis


For information on diagnosing CHD, click here.


What treatment is available?

Treatment for coronary heart disease (CHD) can help manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of further problems.

CHD can be managed effectively with a combination of lifestyle changes, medicine and, in some cases, surgery.

With the right treatment, the symptoms of CHD can be reduced and the functioning of the heart improved.

You can read more about this here.