Understanding heart health
The term heart disease, also referred to as cardiovascular disease (CVD), is used to describe a range of conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels.
There are also cardiovascular risk factors and these are conditions that increase the risk that damage will occur to the heart muscles or blood vessels. These risk factors include genetics (people who have a family history of heart disease), poor diet and exercise, smoking or an illness such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
It is important to be aware of your risk factors and the signs and symptoms of CVD.
At GenesisCare we have a broad network of specialised cardiologists and cardiac nurses, utilising the latest research and technology to help diagnose your condition, reduce symptoms and improve your heart health.
If you are concerned about your heart health, speak to your GP and request a referral for GenesisCare.
Reduce your risk
Prevention is better than cure. You can reduce many of the risks linked to cardiovascular disease by making changes to your lifestyle.
- Eat well – eating a healthy, balanced diet has a positive impact on your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Be more active – regular moderate exercise is beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
- Maintain a healthy weight – reaching a healthy weight and maintaining it decreases your risk of CVD and a host of other health problems.
- Stop smoking – being a non-smoker is one of the best ways you can protect your heart.
- Manage your blood pressure – have regular check-ups to monitor your blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice and take prescribed medications.
Diet, cholesterol, heart disease and statin therapy
If you are prescribed statins, find out the truths and misconceptions around diet, cholesterol, heart disease and statin therapy.
How your heart works
Your heart is a muscular organ about the size of your fist. It supplies blood, containing all the oxygen and nourishment you need, to every part of your body. Most people imagine their heart as a pump but it’s actually two pumps with four separate chambers. The upper two chambers are called the atria. The lower two are your ventricles. The atria receive the blood returning to the heart and push it to the ventricles, the larger chambers of your heart.
Your right atrium receives the blood from your body that has delivered most of its oxygen to the muscles and organs. It passes it to the right ventricle which pushes it to your lungs where it picks up oxygen. Blood returning from your lungs then arrives in your left atrium, which pushes it down to the left ventricle. Being the larger, stronger ventricle, it pushes oxygen-rich blood out of your heart to circulate through your entire body. Blood circulates in an endless figure-eight loop.