Coronary heart disease (CHD) also called coronary artery disease (CAD) is generally caused when fatty deposits collect on the walls of the arteries around the heart. These arteries are called (coronary arteries), and hence the name ‘Coronary Artery Disease’.
Recent research indicates that coronary heart disease starts when certain things cause damage to the inner layers of your coronary arteries. These factors may include such as.
Risk factors generally develop in groups and may build from one another. These may be interlinked such that one leads to another. For example, obesity can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure. Certain risk factors when combined can put you at an even higher risk of coronary artery disease.
Plaque is made up of deposits of cholesterol and other substances that are present in your arteries. These plaques can either partially or completely block the blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis.
Plaque starts collecting since young age. As one gets older, the plaque builds up. The build-up of plaque or fatty deposits (atheroma) makes your arteries narrower.
The plaque makes the inner walls of the blood vessels sticky, because of which other things such as inflammatory cells, lipoproteins, calcium, that travel through the blood also mix with the plaque and deposits on the walls.
If the buildup of plaque is too much, it may narrow down the artery walls to an extent that it is harder for blood to flow through your body. This pushes the artery walls outward causing strains. That makes the vessels narrower.
Your heart also needs blood for its functioning. When your heart muscle doesn’t get sufficient blood, you may experience chest pain or discomfort. This is called angina. Angina is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease. Read more about the symptoms of coronary artery disease.
With time, the disease can weaken your heart muscle. This can lead to serious problems such as heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia etc.
If a blood clot forms, it may travel to the brain through vessels connecting the brain to heart, and an ischemic stroke can happen.
Sometimes coronary artery disease develops without any seemingly risk factor present in the patient. This may be due to some other reasons which are currently being studied:
Homocysteine is an amino acid which is used by our body to make protein and build tissue. A high level of homocysteine can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
It is a condition in which you stop and start breathing while you're sleeping repeatedly. This is also being studied as a risk factor for coronary artery disease due to sudden drops in oxygen intermittently.
It is a type of fat in your blood. If the levels of triglycerides increase, you may be at a high risk of coronary artery disease.
Overview of Coronary Heart Disease Coronary heart disease is a. . . .
What is an electrocardiogram? An electrocardiogram (sometimes. . . .
Normal heart sounds A doctor listens to your heart beats by. . . .
What is echocardiogram and echocardiography? An echocardiogram. . . .
Coronary heart disease (CHD) also called coronary artery disease (CAD) is. . . .
Treatment for coronary heart disease (CHD) also called coronary artery disease. . . .