Cardiovascular system diseases and conditions relate to the heart, blood and blood vessels, and can affect the body in general. These include Stroke, High blood pressure, Anemia, High cholesterol and Heart disease. If you have acute chest pain or any other acute or unusual symptoms then consult medical advice immediately. These diseases can sometimes have symptoms which do not initially cause alarm but can be very serious or fatal.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD - also known as Coronary Artery Disease) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels which supply blood to the heart itself. Hereditary and lifestyle factors can contribute to the risk of getting this condition. It is the most common cause of exercise-related death in those over the age of 35. It is also an occasional cause of sudden cardiac death in younger individuals.


A stroke is a serious medical condition caused by a lack of blood flow to part of the brain. This is usually due to a blood clot preventing the blood from reaching the whole brain. Strokes need to be treated as soon as possible to try and limit the damage. The FAST campaign aims to help people recognise the symptoms of a stroke so early action can be taken.


Diabetes (also called diabetes mellitus) is a relatively common condition which affects the levels of sugar in the blood. Up to 2.6 million people in the UK have diabetes, with half a million estimated to be unaware of their condition. There are two types of diabetes, one is caused by the body not creating insulin, and the other is generally brought on by lifestyle and being overweight.


Anemia (anaemia) is a condition related to the number of red blood cells or the hemoglobin (haemoglobin) concentrations in the blood. There are several types of anemia, although the most common is Iron deficiency anemia. Fatigue, weakness and pale skin are indicators the the person has a form of anemia. Treatment and medication depends on the type the person is suffering from.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a medical condition which can be caused by a number of factors. Up to 30% of adults have high blood pressure, but many aren't aware of it. Inherited and lifestyle factors may affect whether you have high blood pressure, which can also be linked to other conditions. High blood pressure may be a result of another condition, and can increase the risk of others.

High Cholesterol

Having 'high cholesterol' is a medical condition which does not have any symptoms but which puts you at higher risk of other conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is found in the blood. High cholesterol can be caused by genetic factors but also lifestyle factors. The risk of having high cholesterol can therefore be decreased by having a healthy lifestyle.

Palpitations are feelings of an irregular heartbeat. They are often described as 'pounding' 'racing' or 'fluttering' and are very common. Palpitations may be a symptom of a cardiovascular condition, although are more commonly completely harmless and not linked to any underlying condition. There is no need for immediate concern if you get palpitations, but if they become more common medical advice should be sought.