While thinking about your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases may be daunting, it is important to know how to monitor the underlying causes and make simple lifestyle changes to live a happier, longer, and healthier life.
High blood pressure (hypertension) causes your heart to work harder to pump blood, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can establish whether you have high or low blood pressure by using a blood pressure monitor available at most pharmacies and GP surgeries. It is worth taking your blood pressure readings periodically as most people with high blood pressure experience no symptoms.
Smokers are twice as likely to develop an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, which significantly increases your chances of stroke. You can reduce your risk over time by quitting cigarettes, which will be easier with the support of your GP, family and friends, or local specialist stop smoking services.