Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Heart Disease: The Facts

Heart Disease is the biggest killer in Northern Ireland today and has been for the last 25 years!

More than twice as many people are living with Heart Disease as cancer.

Heart Disease not only shortens your life, it also shortens the number of healthy years you have.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart Disease is caused by the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries.  The most common symptoms of this are chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.

If your coronary arteries become partially blocked, it can cause angina, which at first can be a mild, uncomfortable feeling similar to indigestion.  If your arteries become completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack.  Heart attacks can permanently damage the heart muscle and, if not treated straight away, can be fatal.

When we think of heart attack, we imagine the ”Hollywood heart attack” – someone clutching their chest, experiencing the ”classic” sudden and severe chest pains, sweating and breathlessness.

However research tells us that only one third of people who have a heart attack experienced these fast-onset symptoms.  We also need to watch out for the slow onset symptoms, which start gradually and build up in the hours, days and weeks leading up to the heart attack:

  • Unusual tiredness and sleep disturbances
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Frequent indigestion
  • Heart racing
  • Aching arms and tingling hands
  • Chest pain

What can you do to reduce your risk of Heart Disease?

Prevention is better than cure!  So even though it is important to be able to spot the symptoms of a heart attack it is even more important to do what you can to prevent one in the first place.

If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it means you have a greater chance of having a heart attack.  So it is important to have these checked regularly and important to do what you can to lower them.

There are some things you can’t control which put you at a higher risk of having a heart attack, like your age, whether you are a man or a woman, and whether you have a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart attacks in your family.

It’s time to wake up and make your change today!


There are some things you can control: