Director of Public Health Annual Report 2022: Preventing heart disease and stroke in Buckinghamshire

6. Glossary

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height. You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height in metres squared, or alternatively visit the NHS BMI calculator.

18.5 to 24.9 means you’re a healthy weight

25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight

30 to 39.9 means you’re obese

40 or above means you’re severely obese

The scores mentioned above generally apply to people with a white background. If you have an ethnic minority background, the threshold for being considered overweight or obese may be lower. BMI is not used on its own to diagnose obesity because people who are very muscular can have a high BMI without much fat. But for most people, BMI is a useful indication of whether they’re a healthy weight.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an overarching term that describes a family of diseases (including stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease) sharing a common set of risk factors.


Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.

Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) (also known as coronary artery disease or heart disease) is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle.

Directly age standardised rate

The rate that we would expect to find in the populations (groups) under study if they all had the same age composition.


Deprivation in England is measured using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). It is an official measure of relative deprivation and defines deprivation to include a wide range of an individual’s living conditions. There are seven distinct domains of deprivation:

  • Income
  • Employment
  • Health Deprivation and Disability
  • Education, Skills and Training
  • Crime
  • Barriers to Housing and Services
  • Living Environment

Deprivation quintile

Within Buckinghamshire, the population for our county is split into five even groups (quintiles) containing 20% of the population each, based on the deprivation score of the areas they live in.

When the term ‘least deprived’ is used, it means the 20% of the Buckinghamshire population who live in the least deprived areas within the county using the Index of Multiple Deprivation. The ‘most deprived’ means the 20% of the Buckinghamshire resident who live in the most deprived areas within the county using the Index of Multiple deprivation.


A condition that arises when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use insulin. The three most common types of diabetes are: type 1, type 2, and gestational (during pregnancy).

Elective admissions

Hospital inpatients admissions that were planned in advance and are not an emergency. Sometimes referred to as ‘planned admissions.’

Emergency admission

An admission where the clinician admits the individual to the hospital due to a sudden and unexpected change in the individual’s physical or mental condition which is severe enough to require immediate admission as an inpatient in a hospital.

HDL cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein is sometimes called ‘good’ cholesterol. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Heart failure

Heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.


Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is a common condition which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

LDL cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein is sometimes called ‘bad’ cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Mortality rate

Also called ‘death rate’ is a measure of the number of deaths in a population over a specific time period. It is usually reported as a number of deaths for a given number of people, e.g. per 1,000 individuals per year.

Myocardial infarction

A myocardial infarction (also known as a heart attack) happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.


For adults obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or greater. If you have an ethnic minority background, the threshold for being considered obese may be lower.


The proportion of individuals in a population who have a particular disease or characteristic at a given time.

Quality and outcomes framework (QOF)

A system designed to remunerate general practices in England for providing good quality care to their patients, and to help fund work to further improve the quality of health care delivered.


One of five equal groups in a population. For example, the Buckinghamshire population is split into five equal sized groups for deprivation.


A stroke occurs if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is restricted or stopped. Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes. The majority are caused by a clot blocking the flow of blood, but others are caused by a blood vessel bleeding.

Transient ischaemic attack

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ‘mini stroke’ is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain. The effects of a TIA fully resolve within 24 hours.