Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is when the arteries that take oxygenated blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked.
CHD occurs through a build-up in the coronary arteries of a fatty plaque called atheroma. When blood flow is restricted this can cause angina or a heart attack (myocardial infarction). If the blood supply is not restored this damages the heart as the section of muscle deprived of oxygen dies. The NHS states almost 17% of male and 10% of female deaths are because of CHD, an estimated 2.3m people are diagnosed with the condition.
As you age you are at higher risk of atherosclerosis, as plaque forms within the arteries. Yet lifestyle choices and family medical history also increase the risk. Lifestyle factors can include smoking, excess alcohol, weight and lack of exercise. If you suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes then you are also at higher risk of developing CHD. As are people of African, Caribbean or South Asian descent. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help minimise the risk of suffering from CHD.
Taking regular exercise, having a balanced diet and avoiding saturated fats will help you control the type of cholesterol which contributes to atherosclerosis. Not smoking, or giving up, and keeping your alcohol consumption within recommended limits will also help.
Many private medical insurance policies can help you live a healthy lifestyle. Some policies provide access to nutritional, lifestyle and medical advice through wellbeing programmes. These programmes often provide discounted gym or health club memberships. Although, it’s important to remember that the benefits vary depending upon the policy chosen.
If you have not received a diagnosis or do not already suffer the symptoms of coronary heart disease, then most policies will provide cover.
Most private health insurance policies do not cover pre-existing health conditions. So if you have received a diagnosis then you will need to discuss your options. You should be able to access health insurance but insurers may restrict your cover and/or seek a higher premium.
Diagnosis for cardiovascular diseases can result in a range of treatments. These can include medicines such as statins, anti-clotting agents and drugs to reduce high blood pressure. As CHD is a chronic condition the NHS would normally provide these, but there are some exemptions.
At Chase Templeton we’re experts in understanding and explaining the ins and outs of private health insurance policies. If you’re at risk of heart disease or are looking for a policy that will cover you whatever the situation, we can help – Contact Us today.