There are about 17 million who die from cardiovascular diseases on a yearly basis (WHO, 2011). Most of these deaths are attributed to coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases. Physical inactivity, unhealthy eating habits, and smoking are just some of the causes of these diseases. In 2009, about 5000 died from coronary heart disease in Wales with about 118,000 people having had a heart attack at some point and about 120,000 more suffering from angina. This disease also cost the NHS about 3.2 billion pounds with about 9 billion pounds cost to the entire UK economy (BHF, 2011, p. 2). The trends in the incidence of CHD are largely based on social patterns with mortality rates higher for the deprived areas, as compared to the least deprived areas. The rates of CHD in Wales are slightly higher as compared to the rest of England with male incidence rates higher than 10% as compared to the rest of England. Behaviours commonly attributed as causes for CHD include smoking, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and heavy intake of alcohol (BHF, 2011, p. 2). Obesity, increased cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are considered risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease is said to affect about 14 million men and women in the US (Singh, 2010). It develops when fatty materials, calcium, and scar tissue accumulates in the arteries supplying the heart with blood. These arteries are arteries crucial to the efficient functioning of the heart with such heart muscles being supplied with oxygen and nutrients to enable heart functions (Singh, 2010). This plaque narrows the arteries and as a result, the heart does not get an adequate supply of oxygen-filled blood. With narrowed blood vessels, the blood flow to the heart becomes slower and causes chest pain or angina (Singh, 2010). With continued plaque formation, complete blockage of arteries may result, causing a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or disturbance in heart rhythms leading to sudden cardiac arrest. From years of its earliest development, the inner linings of the coronary arteries are very smooth and this allows the smooth and easy passage of blood through the different systems of the body. As a person gets older, the cholesterol and calcium content in the arterial walls accumulate, making them thicker (Singh, 2010). The plaque formation on the arterial walls is primarily caused by unhealthy diets, including one which is high in fats and cholesterol. Smoking and limited activity or exercise can increase the plaque formation. This process is known as atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries (Singh, 2010). This plaque forms like a firm shell, but has a soft inner core where cholesterol is stored. When blood hits such plaque