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Heart disease and stroke

Author Julia Views Posted at 2014/02/12

BBC News (July 7,2009 )


The UK has one of the highest rates of death from heart disease in the world - one British adult dies from the disease every three minutes - and stroke is the country's third biggest killer, claiming 70,000 lives each year.

Heart attacks occur when blood flow is blocked, often by a blood clot, while strokes are caused either by blocked or burst blood vessels in the brain. A range of other conditions, including heart failure, when blood is not pumped properly around the body, and congenital heart defects can also cause long term problems, and even death, for sufferers.



The heart pumps blood around the body carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the areas that need it. When this process is interrupted, or does not work properly, serious illness and even death can result.
The risk of heart disease is greater for people with poor diet, who smoke and do not exercise, and men are more likely to suffer from it than women.
A range of tests and treatments, including drugs, heart bypass surgery and transplants, exist to alleviate symptoms or save the lives of sufferers.


There are two types of stroke - those caused by blood clots in the brain and those that occur when blood vessels burst. In both cases, the brain is starved of oxygen, damaging or killing cells.
Sufferers are often left with difficulty talking, walking and performing other basic tasks. The chance of suffering a stroke is cut by eating healthily, quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol. People at risk of stroke are often treated with aspirin.
After a stroke, various drug treatments are available and rehabilitation is commonly used to improve patients' speech and movement.





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