Coronary Artery Disease

The coronary arteries are the vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood to allow the heart muscle to beat uninterrupted.

In some people the coronary arteries can narrow significantly with deposition of atherosclerotic plaque. This narrowing can limit the flow of blood to the heart muscle wall, particularly when the blood flow demanded by the heart muscle increases (such as stress or exercise). When this occurs chest discomfort may occur, this is termed angina.

Early detection of coronary artery disease is essential as it is the leading single cause of death in the UK accounting for 88,000 lives every year. In 2008 there were 28,000 premature deaths (aged <75). There are many well proven interventions that can be offered that can reduce the rate atherosclerotic plaque deposition. So, early and accurate recognition of cardiac risk factors is vital.

Common Risk Factors:

  • Family history of coronary artery disease
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol

If you have one or more of these get checked out.

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Dr Hickman sees private and NHS patients referred by their general practitioners and a referral letter is usually required. In exceptional circumstances, due to the urgent and unpredictable nature of cardiac complaints, Dr Hickman will offer urgent appointments to private patients without a referral letter. A full report will subsequently be sent to their GP.