The Cardiac rehabilitation team aims to give patients infomation and support needed to make the best possible recovery following a cardiac event.The infomation contained on this page reflects the latest evidence avaliable to help you make informed choices about your recovery.
Patients will be seen in hospital by a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team to discuss initial recovery,helping prepare for the first few weeks at home.
The term cardiac event is used to describe the following conditions;
- Myocardial infarction (Heart attack)
- Acute Coronary syndrome
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
Having any of this conditions means you have coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is long term and you will have it for the rest of your life. There are many things that you can do to manage your condition and help yourslf to return to as full and active life as possible.
Coronary Heart Disease
Your heart is a large, hollow muscle, which continuously pumps blood around the body. The heart muscle needs its own blood supply to work properly. The coronary arteries carry blood (and therefore oxygen) to your heart muscle.
(Fig.1. Heart and coronary arteries)
Over a period of time, usually many years, the coronary arteries can become narrowed. They are usually narrowed because “fatty deposits” (atheroma) are laid down in the lining of the coronary artery. This process is called coronary heart disease.
Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease
Risk factors are things that we know make it more likely that you will develop coronary heart disease. Risk factors are often related to your lifestyle and are therefore in your control. You can do something about them.
Risks you can change
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol Levels
- Lack of Exercise
- Prolonged Stress
- Excess Alcohol
Risks you can't change
- Family History
By adopting a healthy lifestyle and reducing your risk factors you can greatly reduce your chances of having another cardiac event.
Reducing one risk factor can have great benefits and with time, reducing as many risk factors as you can, will give you the best chance of making a full recovery.
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. It is particulary important that your diabetes is well controlled and that you reduce any other risk factors you have. Ask a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team for specific advice.