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Common symptoms caused by cardiac problems include shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations or dizziness. These symptoms can arise when the muscle, valves, blood supply or the electrics of the heart are not functioning properly.

Some cardiac conditions run in families, others develop throughout our lives. Some of the commonest cardiac issues are caused by narrowing or blockages in the blood supply the heart. These manifest as angina (chest pain) or more acutely as heart attacks. Angina is pain described as a heavy pain in the middle of the chest, which can be associated with breathlessness, it may go into the jaw or arm. It is often made worse by exertion, especially in cold weather and resolves with rest.

The cause of narrowing in the arteries of the heart are atherosclerotic plaques building up in the lumen of the arteries that supply the heart. The chance of this occurring increases if you smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Your individual risk of having ischaemic heart disease/coronary disease can be calculated by using one of the following risk calculators:

More information on how your heart works is available here:

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