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Heart Disease: the UKs biggest killer

Heart Disease

Do you know the risks of heart disease? Read our blog to find out.

Helen Marsden

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Heart disease is often known as the UK's 'silent killer', a fittingly ominous title. You may be surprised to hear that one in every three deaths in the UK is caused by heart disease, but yet in lots of ways the illness does not get as much media coverage as some of the other big killers in the UK such as lung cancer.

Heart disease is often thought of as more of a male condition, when in fact cases of heart disease, and deaths from it,  are actually spread fairly evenly across the sexes. As a point of comparison, around three times more women die from heart disease annually than from breast cancer. It is true however that men are more likely to get heart disease at a younger age than females. Heart disease has no obvious symptoms, especially in its early stages, but can be fairly successful prevented, or at least delayed, with simple lifestyle changes and medication. By taking our Heart Disease Risk Check, a simple blood test, you can find out whether you have some of the precursors to heart disease such as a high level of LDL cholesterol and high inflammation. 

What a lot of people don't realise is that having 'high' cholesterol (total cholesterol levels) is not always a bad thing. The important thing to know is your ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol, as HDL 'good' cholesterol actually protects against the harmful, artery-clogging, effects of LDL. Heart disease happens when fatty material (atheroma) builds up and lines the arteries in a process called atherosclerosis. If this process leads to an actual blockage in the coronary artery a heart attack occurs. 

As previously mentioned, heart disease is just as much a female affliction as a male health issue. One of the biggest factors that affects  your risk of developing heart disease is your genetics, whether you have a family history of heart disease. Not everybody has access to their family medical history, but if you that you know have a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease, taking our Heart Disease Risk Check is even more important. Being overweight, smoking and having high blood pressure all also contribute to having a higher risk of developing heart disease and all of these lifestyle factors can be combatted. We all know that being overweight and smoking are 'bad' for you, but it often takes the cold hard facts of a blood test result to make people act rather than brushing it all under the rug. 

Our Heart Disease Risk Check is a home-to-lab blood test involving the collection of a blood sample in the comfort of your own home and the sample being analysed in our accredited laboratory. It could not be easier to arm yourself with the facts about your current and future health!

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