Cardiovascular Disease

The term 'cardiovascular disease' covers a multitude of illnesses of the heart and blood vessels. Coronary artery disease (heart attacks) and strokes are common.


Before you send your employees overseas, it is important to know if they suffer from any cardiac problems. Any incident could require emergency medical evacuation, or lead to possible fatality. 

The availability of cardiac specialist care varies vastly from country to country.  In addition the emergency medical professionals may only speak the local language, usual medications may not be available, or be available but with a different name or in a different dosage. International SOS can provide your mobile workforce advice and recommendations on these issues, the level of cardiac care available, as well as assess the emergency medical evacuation capability of a country. 


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International SOS is playing a leading role in providing specific advice and support for medical and security risks, no matter where your people are. Our specialist teams are working around the clock to keep your employees protected and business moving.


  • Assess and understand the risks of exposure at your destination: We analyse and evaluate any location you are sending your employees to and recommend measures that help mitigate risks.
  • Educate your travellers before they depart: Through our specialist medical information and education programmes, we help you to prepare your travellers for the local situation as well as advise on measures to take should the situation deteriorate.
  • Around the clock access for your travellers to specific local advice: Our qualified doctors and security specialists are there for your employees, no matter what, where or when.


Achieve your goals and avoid loss of time and productivity by preparing your employees for travel and supporting them when they are in unfamiliar and remote locations. We help to keep your people healthy and safe, so you can focus on your core business activities. Click here to find out how we do this.

What is coronary artery disease? 

Coronary arteries supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscles. When plaque accumulates inside these vessels, it reduces or blocks the blood flow. This leads to coronary artery disease. Depending on the degree of the block, people can suffer from pain (angina) or a heart attack (ischaemic heart disease).
Risk factors for coronary artery disease include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive use of alcohol.  These lead to high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, raised blood sugar levels and obesity. Other risk factors include male gender, age, family history and race.
Many people with coronary artery plaque don’t have any symptoms. When the blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced, symptoms such as chest pain can occur. The chest pain is classically described as choking or pressing, squeezing, strangling, constricting, bursting or burning in nature. Pain can also be felt in the left shoulder or arm, jaw or neck.
Numerous diseases cause chest pain. Anyone with symptoms should see their doctor for a diagnosis. 

Business travellers can take simple lifestyle actions to reduce their risk of coronary artery disease: 

  • Stop smoking. If you don't smoke, keep it that way. 
  • Have your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol level checked.
  • Eat healthy, well balanced meals - choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and pulses, restrict salt, sugar and fats 
  • Limit alcohol intake. 
  • Exercise regularly, achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

These actions should be perpetuated whether you are travelling or at home.