There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease. It happens slowly over time, and is the major reason people have heart attacks.
Other kinds of heart disease may be due to the heart not pumping properly and causing heart failure, or the heart valves not working properly or some people are born with heart disease.
In general, participants with heart conditions should be able to participate in many activities, as being physically fit should reduce the risk of heart disease. It is the work intensity and the ability of the person to cope with the physical stress that will limit their involvement.
A participant with heart disease becomes tired quickly and requires regular rest periods, but taking this into account the person should be encouraged to participate at a level that they can manage.
If a participant with heart disease displays one or more of the following conditions seek medical help immediately:
- Severe pain in the centre of the chest that may radiate to neck, jaw, one or both arms;
- Pale complexion, sweating, nausea, vomiting or shortness of breath; or
- Sudden collapse and unconsciousness.
Be aware of triggers, monitor the participants and know the first aid procedures.