Heart Conditions

Conditions relating to the heart are called Cardiac conditions. There are many different types of Cardiac conditions:

  • Congenital Heart Disease is a birth defect that affects the normal workings of the heart.
  • Cardiomyopathy is the general term for disease of the heart muscle, which affects its ability to pump blood around the body.
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is sometimes called ischaemic heart disease or coronary artery disease. It is when your hearts blood supply is blocked or interrupted due to a build up of fatty substances in the arteries.
  • A Myocardial Infarction (MI) is more commonly known as a heart attack. This is when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked (usually by a blood clot).
  • Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart beat. The main types of arrhythmia are: Atrial fibrillation (AF), Supreventricular tachycardia, Bradycardia, Heart Block and Ventricular fibrillation. 
  • Angina is a syndrome which occurs when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becomes restricted.
  • Heart failure is when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly.  It usually occurs because the heart has become too weak or stiff.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is the foremost charity for people with Chest, Heart and stroke conditions in Scotland, providing support to individuals and funding research.

They offer a free, confidential line of support and advice by telephone 0808 801 0899 and email (adviceline@chss.org.uk) through which you will be put in touch with a nurse who can help with issues such as; questions about your condition or care, help finding support as your return home from hospital, or advice and support for managing your condition well and living life to the full. Follow this link to a list of their downloadable guides. Their ‘Living Well’ page, contains information, advice and practical strategies for managing difficulties associated with heart conditions; such as: pain, fatigue, breathlessness, keeping active as well as a page specifically related to mental wellbeing and heart conditions. You can download a copy of their essential guide to mental_wellbeing

British Heart Foundation (BHF)

The British heart foundation is the UK’s principal charity for those with cardiac conditions. They provide support to people with a diagnosis and fund research. For anyone newly diagnosed with a cardiac condition, or who has questions about their diagnosis, treatment or the impact it has on their mental wellbeing, then their website is important to visit. Their website contains information packs about the various cardiac conditions that you can be diagnosed with; including an ‘A to Z’ of heart and circulatory diseases. Under the ‘Information and support’ tab, you can also access the ‘Heart Helpline’, where you can call (0300 330 3311), email (hearthelpline@bhf.org.uk) or webchat with a cardiac nurse who can help with advice regarding many issues including understanding medications and their side effects, improving diet and lifestyle, managing a new or existing diagnosis, recovering from a hospital stay or understanding test results.

The British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Unlocked’ page is a free online space for people with heart and circulatory diseases linking up this community across the UK, online. It is a platform where individuals can get advice and support from other people going through similar situations. 

NHS Inform

The NHS Inform website contains clear and informative descriptions of various cardiac conditions. ‘Adjusting to life with a Heart Condition’ is a useful guide to managing the challenges of adjusting to life with a heart condition . They also have specific information relating to Women’s heart health, including pregnancy and health disease.

Somerville Heart Foundation

The Somerville Heart foundation Is the only UK-wide charity supporting adults and young people as they transfer to adult services, with all forms of Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD). You can sign up to access all their information, support and resources for free as a ‘friend’. Their services include access to a specialist counsellor and information and support for families of young people who have CHD; although some services are paid for.