• Question: what happens when you get heart disease

    Asked by katie to Gavin, Karen, Mark, Michel, Roisin on 11 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Michel Destrade

      Michel Destrade answered on 11 Nov 2016:

      The most common scenario is that plaque builds up and lines your arteries and veins (a bit like a pipe getting clogged up with deposits). It takes many years but eventually can lead to blocked arteries and then a stroke or heart attack. Bad news! But the good news is that there is a steady reduction in premature death rates from heart disease. That’s because there are more and more ways of treating it. One great way is to put a stent in the narrowed artery. It’s like a tube made of metal mesh: you slide it to the site, then you blow it up with a little balloon, and it deploys to crush the plaque and increase the diameter of the narrowed artery. Then you deflate the balloon and pull it out and the stent stays in place to keep the artery open, and you’re fine! 80% of all stents manufactured outside the USA are made in Ireland, so no shortage of them here! There’s a lot of science going into improving their design and composition.

    • Photo: Roisin Jones

      Roisin Jones answered on 11 Nov 2016:

      I think Michel has covered this topic in far more depth than I would be able to, great answer!

    • Photo: Karen

      Karen answered on 11 Nov 2016:

      Yes exactly as Michel says. Many things contribute to heart disease…high cholesterol (very often hereditary ie genetic), smoking, obesity and family history.