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Coronary Heart Disease Definition

Coronary Heart Disease Definition

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Published by Ruturaj Mokashi

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Published by: Ruturaj Mokashi on Aug 23, 2011
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05/26/2012

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Coronary Heart disease definition:Coronary artery disease (CAD) or coronary heart disease (CHD)
is caused due to accumulation of atheromatous plaque within the walls of arteries that supply fresh oxygenated blood to the heart. If the coronary arteries are blocked, the heart will strive for oxygenated blood and if this request is notmet, it may lead to chest pain (
Angina pectoris)
or a
heart attack
. Coronary heart disease is themost common underlying cause of cardiovascular disability and death. The common risk factorsassociated with this disease are hypertension, cigarette smoking, elevated blood lipids, a high fatdiet, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes and stress.The arteries play an essential role in carrying vital nutrients and oxygenated blood to the heart. Overthe period of time these arteries become less elastic and are prone to hardening due toatherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is basically a buildup of fatty deposits called as
plaque
inside thewalls of arteries and it is the root cause of coronary heart disease. These fatty deposits make thearteries narrow and restrict the normal blood flow to the heart, making the heart deprived of richoxygenated blood and nutrients. Sometimes a blood clot may form blocking a coronary artery(coronary thrombosis) which may lead to a severe heart attack. Researchers have detected numberof micro-organism that may be responsible for heart diseases. Inflammation in the coronary arteriescaused due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria can lead to atherosclerosis.Coronary artery disease affects nearly 13 million Americans and it is the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. This disease is treatable if diagnosed at early stage or it mayprove to be very fatal. Including a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthyweight and stopping tobacco use are some of the preventive measures to avoid this deadly disease.In severe cases coronary artery bypass surgery is required as it helps to create an alternate route forblood to the heart.
Coronary Heart disease Causes
 
Atherosclerosis:
Atherosclerosis is one of the primary causes of coronary heart disease which leads to narrowing andhardening of the arteries. It is the buildup of fatty deposits called as
plaque
inside the arteries whichcarry fresh oxygenated blood to the heart. These fatty deposits make the arteries narrow which obstructthe normal flow of the blood and therefore restrict the supply of oxygen to the heart muscles. Due toatherosclerosis the artery may also become less elastic, which is called as hardening of the arteries.
 
The hardening of the arteries causes an increase in resistance to blood flow, and therefore an increasein blood pressure. Researchers have detected number of micro-organism that may be responsible forheart diseases. Inflammation in the coronary arteries caused due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria can leadto atherosclerosis.
 
 
High Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels cause the coronary arteries to narrow due to accumulation of plaque on the wallsof the arteries. The arteries are also completely blocked due to high level of cholesterol. Cholesterol-richfood increases the level of bad cholesterol or
low density lipoprotein (LDL)
, which is deposited on theartery walls which leads to atherosclerosis. These LDL molecules contain more cholesterol and does notaid in the transportation of cholesterol out of the body, instead it deposits cholesterol onto the vesselwalls.
High density lipoprotein (HDL)
or good cholesterol plays a vital role in removing cholesterol out of the body by transporting it to the liver. Low HDL levels can lead to severe cardiovascular disorder.
 
Sm
oking and Alcohol
Several studies have indicated that high consumption of alcohol is one of the major causes of coronaryheart disease as it can raise blood pressure. Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by70%. It also increases the risk of sudden death due to coronary heart disease. Carbon monoxidecontained in the smoke can clump the platelets in the blood, which makes the blood sticky and thusblock coronary arteries. The chances of having a severe heart attack due to CHD are seen quite oftenamong habitual smokers.
 
S
tress
Stress, whether physical or emotional, increases the hearts workload, making it beat faster thannormal, raising blood pressure. All this results in the heart needing more oxygen and if the coronaryarteries are blocked, this request cannot be met, leading to Angina pectoris or a heart attack.
Coronary heart disease risk factors:
Coronary artery disease compromises the pumping ability of the heart, cause failure of the valve orresult in narrowing or hardening of the arteries. The injury or failure of the cardiovascular system willaffect the peripheral tissues that depend on the delivery of nutrients
 
and the removal of wastes throughthe blood vascular system. Some of the major risk factors affecting coronary heart disease are describedbelow:
Non controllable risk factors
 
Age
Aging causes the coronary arteries to become stiff and hard if proper diet or lifestyle is not maintained.Generally people above 65 yrs are mostly affected by coronary artery disease. Old age is one of themajor risk factors which facilitate easy accumulation of plaque on the walls of the arteries, which makeit hard and narrow.
 
 
G
ender
M
en are affected about four times as frequently as women and tend to have attacks earlier in life. Therisk for coronary heart disease increases for menopausal women. But the risk factors for men are alwaysgreater than women.
 
Heredity
Generally, coronary heart disease affects children born with parents having heart disease. They tend toshow the symptoms of this disease later on in life. According to several studies it has been proved thatfamily history of heart diseases often is associated with coronary heart diseases, if parents of the childdevelop it before the age of 50.
 
R
ace
African Americans, native Hawaiians,
M
exicans and Asians have higher rates of obesity and diabetes andthus are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart diseases.
Controllable risk factors
 
Diabetes
It is a disease, in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin which causes glucose level in theblood to increase, instead of being used for energy. People with diabetes are two or four times morelikely to develop coronary heart disease due to poorly controlled blood sugars.Coronary artery diseaseis the major cause of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
.
 
O
besity and sedentary lifestyle
People with sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia run agreater risk of developing coronary heart disease. High cholesterol levels also cause the coronaryarteries to narrow due to accumulation of plaque on the walls of the arteries. If arteries are completelyblocked it can lead to a massive heart attack.
 
F
ibrogen and lipoprotein
High level of fibrogen and lipoprotein A encourage the formation of blood clots and are responsible forheart attack and formation of atheroma plaque.
 
High Blood pressure
High blood pressure is the major risk factor for coronary heart disease which is responsible for severestroke and heart attack. When the force of blood passing through blood vessels is above normal then itleads to hypertension or high blood pressure.
M
any people fail to recognize the symptoms of hypertension and consistent high blood pressure can prove to be very fatal. Smoking, stress, obesity,poor diet, physical inactivity are the major factors responsible for high blood pressure or hypertension.High blood pressure can be controlled by avoiding all the factors mentioned above.

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