If you suffer from chronic heart disease we need to regularly monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. You may need medication as part of your treatment. We will need to see you at least once a year in our cardiovascular clinic to conduct a review and you should ensure you have a flu vaccination each autumn. A week or two before your review you will be asked to have a blood test with a phlebotomist. At the cardio-vascular clinic your blood pressure, weight, height will be checked and a discussion of your symptoms, lifestyle, medication and blood test results will take place. As a practice, we encourage you to take a proactive attitude to all aspects of your health care and will encourage you to stop smoking and consider other lifestyle changes.
If you have high blood pressure we request that, as well as your annual review, you make an appointment for a blood pressure check at least every six months. A fasting blood test is usually requested at your annual review, as this gives us the opportunity to review your blood cholesterol and glucose (sugar) levels.
Other blood tests look at the function of your kidneys, liver, thyroid and a full blood count to ensure you are not anaemic. Other investigations may be organised following your annual review. Good control of your blood pressure, stopping smoking, lowering your cholesterol, lifestyle changes, medication compliance are all important factors in controlling your disease symptoms and preventing symptoms from worsening.
What is Heart Disease?
One of the commonest diseases to affect the heart is coronary heart disease (CHD). It’s usually caused by atherosclerosis, a build up of fatty materials within the walls of the arteries.