hello. paul zollinger read. i'm the chiefmedical officer at bupa and i want to talk to you today about heart disease. specifically,how to prevent heart disease. now, your heart is a muscle. and just likeany other muscle it needs a supply of oxygen rich blood to work properly. it receives itsown blood supply through the coronary arteries and their branches which lie on the surfaceof the heart. what happens in heart disease is they siltup. they get these things called plaques in them. now if they generally silt up, thenpeople can get what's called angina, chest pain which typically comes on when they walkup a hill or they eat. but occasionally you can get narrowing's thatthen burst. those plaques rupture. and then
an artery gets blocked and you have a heartattack. but what are the things that create and cause and aggravate heart disease? andif we look at them in turn, smoking is probably one of the most significant factors. absolutelyno doubt about that. in fact, when the smoking ban was brought in, in public places, we sawa really significant fall in the incidence of heart attacks. and that happened withinsix to nine months. so we know, smoking causes heart disease and can precipitate heart attacks.the next one is blood pressure. the tricky thing about blood pressure is you don't knowyou've got it. so, it's a really good idea to get your blood pressure checked. it's easyto do and now, more and more people are doing it themselves.the other is blood sugar, diabetes. if you
have diabetes, you are at much greater riskof heart disease. and the most important thing there is that you really focus hard and keepyour blood sugar under control. you follow your doctor's advice, you take the medicationsor if you're on diet, you stick to that diet. it's rare for people to be put on treatmentfor cholesterol if they don't have a family history. but it's not unheard of. becauseif your cholesterol has a lot of bad and very little good, your doctor might decide to putyou on cholesterol lowering tablets known as statins.then we look at diet itself. now those plaques i talked about are formed by cholesterol.and cholesterol, there are many types but essentially there's what we call a good typewhich is called hdl and there's a bad type,
ldl. so, when you get your cholesterol tested,it's important to know how much good you've got because good reduces heart disease andhow much bad you've got. exercise is crucial and it's interesting isn'tit because you think of exercise as oh, i'm losing weight but actually that's not themechanism. so when i exercise i know my good cholesterol goes up and my bad cholesterolgoes down. and what we've found out is, it actually has a big anti-inflammatory affect.so these little plaques are inflamed and you exercising reduces that inflammation. nowyou don't need to do a great deal. three or four times a week, 15 to 30 minutes, briskwalking. you don't need to be a marathon runner. the other thing is alcohol. now, we all knowalcohol is bad for you in large quantities
but there's no doubt that one or two unitsa day is good for heart disease. it has a positive effect on reducing heart disease.so, there's lots you can do to prevent heart disease. if you're at all concerned, go andsee your doctor and get those tests done. and if you've got a family history, reallytake it seriously.