Coronary heart disease (CHD) was the biggest cause of death in England, accounting for nearly 60,000 of the total 466,800 deaths in 2012 (about one in seven deaths in men and one in ten deaths in women). And it's the top cause of death for people under the age of 75. Most of the risk of heart attack is down to a few risk factors that are potentially modifiable...
Indeed, love probably means as many different things as there are people - from the unselfish care of a Mother Teresa to the heart-pounding passion of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Yet with Valentine's Day upon us it's the romantic variety tugging at our heartstrings, especially if we lack that special someone to share it with.
The All Black rugby player had been locked in his room for days, shutting out all contact with friends, family and fellow players. It was 4am when he finally picked up the phone to call a helpline. The reply at the other end was simple, "hello friend". It started a process that led to therapy that has been helping to change the life of Brent Pope for many years.
It came as a huge shock to find out 18 months ago, when I could no longer catch my breath while running on a treadmill, that I had a hole in my heart - about an inch across in fact - that apparently, I've had since birth. I was very lucky in that my dad is a GP and when I told him, he dismissed my doctor's diagnosis of 'oh, it's just a virus' and frogmarched me to A&E.
We've seen examples of this in the past where researchers have been able to highlight aspects of lifestyle that affect the risk of developing disease. This past week marked the 50th anniversary of the US Surgeon General report on smoking, which for the first time in the US highlighted the significant health harms to the general public from smoking.
A new report from UK think tank the Overseas Development Institute shows that globally, one in three adults was overweight or obese in 2008, an increase of 23% since 1980. In the developing world, the number of overweight or obese adults more than tripled from 250million to 904million.
An observational piece in last week's British Medical Journal had the media buzzing when cardiologist Aseem Malhotra lashed out at governments and the food industry as being culpable in wrongly demonising saturated fat consumption as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease
It was nice to see that on the topic of omega 3 fish oil consumption, of which I have been a staunch defender, I have received unlikely support from Big Pharma. They have been casting their nets for the next big heart cure, and fish oil is the catch of the day.
I am so fortunate to love the work that I do. And, sometimes, it is possible to improve the lives of others through my work. Do let me tell you about some of my recent projects...
Death from heart disease has been decreasing since the 1960s and it's come down largely because of decreased smoking, good medicines for blood pressure, and more recently cholesterol. But if you look at the youngest age groups, it's plateauing and beginning to go up in the mid-30s and mid-40s age groups.
Global warming isn't the fictional bogey man many once thought it to be and its effects go way beyond marooning polar bears on melting icebergs. The methane (noisily) produced by livestock is 20 times more deleterious as a greenhouse gas than C02, which makes meat production the second most damaging source of greenhouse gases in the world.
There are a number of reasons for the increase in the numbers waiting for a new heart. Primarily it's down to more people surviving a heart attack but living with the consequences - heart failure. Those with severe heart failure need a heart transplant to survive or have a better quality of life.
We all know how a good night's sleep can do us wonders, and a late night of broken sleep can leave you feeling groggy, irritable and unproductive. But there's a lot more to be said about getting an early night than you may think.
BBC Radio Five Live were crusading again last week, their plan of campaign once more heavily reliant upon taking a lazy sound-bite and stimulating a h...
When we think of health problems in Africa, we generally focus on infectious diseases (such as HIV and malaria), malnutrition, and maternal and childhood mortality. By contrast, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, heart disease and cancer are frequently referred to as 'diseases of affluence', and thus thought only as a problem of rich, developed countries.
For years of life lost due to premature mortality, in comparison with the European average, the UK does worse in 2010 in ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, breast cancer, other cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, oesophageal cancer, pre-term birth complications, congenital anomalies, and aortic aneurysm.