Coronary heart disease (CHD) is usually diagnosed after a risk assessment and further tests.
If your GP thinks you may be at risk of CHD, they may carry out a risk assessment for cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke.
Your doctor will:
- ask about your medical and family history
- check your blood pressure
- do a blood test to assess your cholesterol level
Before having the cholesterol test, you may be asked not to eat for 12 hours. This is to make sure that there is no food in your body that could affect the result.
Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the blood test. A sample will be taken either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.
Your GP will also ask about your lifestyle, how much exercise you do and whether you smoke. All these things will be considered as part of the diagnosis.
To confirm a suspected diagnosis, you may be referred for more tests.
Different tests are used to diagnose heart-related problems, including:
- electrocardiogram (ECG)
- exercise stress tests
- blood tests
- coronary angiography
- radionuclide tests
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- computerised tomography (CT) scans
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE