Bradley Walsh health: The star’s battle with ‘silent killer’ disease

The Chase: Bradley Walsh by question asked to contestant

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Bradley, 61, who has also released a few series with his son Barney Walsh comes across as a family man through and through. Sadly, the star lost his own father to heart disease just before he reached the age of 60. His father’s battle then made Bradley think about his own health, especially when he was told by doctors that his lifestyle decisions made him a “ticking time bomb” to suffering similar heart-related conditions.

Following the heartbreak from his father’s death the star became determined to “get past [his] dad’s age”.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday he said: “I had a hang-up because my father, Daniel, died at the age of 59.

“So turning 60 was a bit of a milestone.”

However, turning 60 for the star also came with a stark wake-up call about how he needed to change his ways.

He continued to say: “I was a time bomb. I was quite lucky in regards to the calcium test but my doctor said I produce too much cholesterol. It’s a silent killer.

“I thought, ‘Oh crikey, I’m gonna be bang in trouble here if I don’t lose the weight and start dealing with this.’

“My heart guy said, ‘Look, Brad, you need to get fit.’”

At his heaviest the star weighed 14st 9Ibs, but after a drastic and committed weight loss journey he managed to lose an impressive 10Ibs.

In order to shed the weight, Bradley immediately stopped drinking alcohol, swapping them out for more fruit, vegetables, salads and fish.

With the help of a new puppy who got the presenter out walking regularly, Bradley’s conscious effort to get “stuck in” changed his life.

The hereditary nature of heart disease I am sure still plays on the star’s mind. In light of this he has regular tests and goes for a full medical every two years at a cardiac clinic.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Statistics from the British Heart Foundation reveal that there are around 7.6 million people living with a heart or circulatory disease in the UK.

The term heart disease covers a range of conditions including:

  • Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
  • Heart valve disease
  • Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart infection.

Damage to the heart is caused by fatty plaques in your arteries. This build-up causes narrowed or blocked blood vessels and eventually they can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke.

Coronary artery disease symptoms may be different for men and women. Although it is unknown why, men are more likely to have chest pain whereas women are more likely to have other signs and symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue.

Despite this difference, the main and most common signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease are:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain throughout the body
  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling sick (nausea).

When diagnosed with CHD there is no cure. However the condition can be treated so individuals are able to manage symptoms and reduce the chances of problems such as heart attacks.

As Bradley did, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, stopping smoking and a healthier diet are important first steps that need to be taken to improve health.

If the condition is severe then surgery or an angioplasty may be carried out to treat the narrowed heart arteries.

If someone is suffering from a heart attack, it is important to know the early warning signs. These include:

  • Chest discomfort- most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes , or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath – this can occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs – include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness.

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