Heart and Stroke Disease


Heart and Stroke Disease are very similar in that they are caused by a narrowing or blocking of the arteries, either in the heart or the brain.

There is a fatty substance which can “fur” up the arteries causing something called “atherosclerosis”. If the artery becomes completely blocked with this fatty substance then that is when a heart attack or stroke occurs. If blood cholesterol is high this can cause this build up of the fatty substance in the arteries, so when people have had a stroke or a heart attack, stent or heart bypass, they are asked to take a cholesterol-lowering tablet called a statin to reduce this substance. Eating a low fat diet and doing plenty of exercise will also help to lower cholesterol.

The reason smoking is such a big factor in Heart and Stroke disease, is because smoking prevents “good” cholesterol from working, and allows the “bad” cholesterol to cause the narrowing and blocking of arteries. So stopping smoking when you’ve got Heart or Stroke disease, is the best thing you can do.

Quite often following a Stroke, TIA (transient ischaemic attack or mini-stroke) heart attack, stent,or bypass, people will think that they should avoid doing any exercise in case it brings anything like that on again. This is actually the worse thing you can do, and doing regular exercise such as a half hour walk or activity every day will improve your fitness, lower your cholesterol levels and probably add years to you life.

If you are physically unable to walk for half an hour there are exercises that can be done in your chair which will also improve your fitness levels.


Eating more healthily, i.e. lots of fruit and vegetables, chicken, turkey and fish, and less “stodge” such as sausages, pies, and deep fried things will also improve cholesterol levels, as will losing weight if you are overweight.

It all helps to try and prevent a further cardio-vascular problem (blocked artery) happening again.

Annual Health Clinics

Sister Everett runs Annual Health clinics for people who have Heart and stroke disease or a combination of both, and offers help, support and advice to keep you on track.

She checks your blood pressure, pulse, takes blood samples to check your cholesterol amongst other things and goes over ways in which to keep yourself as well as possible. So it is a very important check to make sure that complications are less likely to occur.

This is usually an annual review, but if you notice time has passed and you haven’t had your review when you expected, please contact us and we will give you an appointment.

Check out these websites for help and advice: