In the developed world, it is one of the leading causes of death both in men and women. Around 94,000 deaths each year in the UK are attributed to this condition and the prevalence of this condition is about 2.6 million. The most common symptom associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) is angina and about 2 million people are affected with it each year. With age the prevalence and severity of CHD would only increase (NHS 2009). The two most notable conditions that are associated with CHD are angina and myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction arises when coronary arteries are completely blocked and angina arises when the coronary arteries are partially blocked. Some of the common symptoms that are associated with CHD include breathlessness, chest pain, palpitations, a feeling of heaviness or tightness over the chest, sweating, confusions, anxiety, light-headedness, breathlessness, and dyspnea. Some of the common complications that can arise with the progression of CHD include heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmia (Mayo Clinic 2012).
The main pathophysiology associated with CHD is the build-up of plaque in the coronary artery. As the plaque builds up, the lumen of the vessel becomes narrower, and so does the heart receive reduced supply of blood, resulting in the development of several symptoms of CHD including chest pain, breathlessness, and light-headedness. ...
Following the process of atherosclerosis, there may be breakage or rupture of the plaques resulting in deposition of platelets at the site of repair. This platelet clump may block the lumen resulting in partial or complete arterial blockage causing angina or myocardial infarction (Mayo Clinic 2012). Figure 2: Complications of CHD In the UK, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia is high. About 1 in every 500 individuals is affected with familial hypercholesterolemia (an autosomal dominant condition characterised by high levels of Low Density lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood resulting in the development of atherosclerosis at a very rapid rate). Further the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia due to sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercises and diet has resulted in very high prevalence of CHD in the population. About 10 to 15% of the 110,000 population that have familial hypercholesterolemia are unaware of their condition, due to which they may be at a very high risk to suffer from angina or myocardial infarction (Wadwa 2007). Almost every patient with coronary artery disease has a minimum of one modifiable cardiovascular risk factor, and that most of the risk factors remain insufficiently controlled even after patients are diagnosed for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). “Hypercholesterolemia is a condition characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals (particularly egg yolks, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products). The body needs this substance to build cell membranes, make certain hormones, and produce compounds that aid in fat