Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease

Best-practice care for people with coronary heart disease (CHD) can reduce the incidence of subsequent cardiovascular events and improve quality of life and survival.

This requires the application of evidence-based lifestyle, biomedical and psychosocial management recommendations.

Guidelines and tools

  • HEART online website
    Clinician resources for cardiac rehabilitation and heart failure management. Access evidence-based guidelines, templates, protocols, calculators, patient resources and videos. Supported by Queensland Health and the Heart Foundation.

Reducing risk in heart disease

Cardiac rehabilitation

The World Health Organization and the Heart Foundation recommend that all patients who have had a heart attack, heart surgery, coronary angioplasty or other heart or blood vessel disease should routinely referred to an appropriate cardiac rehabilitation and prevention program.

Aspirin and primary coronary heart disease prevention

The Heart Foundation does not recommend that people with no known CHD take low dose aspirin (75–150 mg) daily to reduce their risk of developing CHD.

Large international studies have repeatedly shown no or minimal cardiovascular benefits in people with no known CHD taking low dose aspirin daily. Benefits were also outweighed by bleeding complications (stomach ulcers and stroke).

Further research is underway to assess whether or not there are benefits of aspirin use in people with:

  • diabetes, but no known CHD
  • a family history of, or other risk factors for, CHD.

People over 45 years of age with no known CHD will benefit most from following a healthy lifestyle and regularly seeing their doctor for comprehensive risk assessments. These assessments should include having blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels checked and treated if necessary.

However, taking low dose aspirin daily is an essential* part of the treatment for people with known CHD, stroke or other forms of vascular disease (e.g. angina, heart attack, coronary stent or bypass surgery). *There are alternative 'anti-platelet' medicines available for people who are not able to take aspirin.

Secondary prevention

Information for your patients

Managing my heart health

An interactive self-management resource for people with, or at high risk of, coronary heart disease. It mirrors the content of the “Reducing Risk in Heart Disease 2012 expert guide” and provides lifestyle, medical and psychosocial strategies to reduce the risk of further heart problems.

Key features of this valuable resource include comprehensive evidence-based risk factor information in a concise format self-management tools including action plans, a “Medicines List” card and a record card (“Managing my heart health. At a glance”) to help patients monitor their progress and facilitate discussion with health professionals. To order this resource, call 1300 36 27 87.

My heart, my life

Free mobile app helps you manage your medicines and health stats like blood pressure and cholesterol. Also learn about heart attack warning signs and what to do. Download now

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