Coronary Heart DiseaseYour coronary arteries are what provide your heart with blood, nutrients and oxygen, which your heart has to have. Your flow of blood going through these coronary arteries may be hindered by some type of damage or disease. When this takes place, the disease is referred to as coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is known by several other names. It is also referred to as atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, hardening of the arteries, coronary artery disease, arteriosclerotic heart disease and narrowing of the arteries. The obstruction that results from coronary heart disease takes place when there is a gradual build up of plaque (fatty deposits) within your coronary arteries (atherosclerosis). Over a long period of time, these deposits slowly narrow your coronary arteries. This, in turn, has the effect of causing your heart to get less and less blood. Coronary heart disease is not something that occurs quickly or suddenly. It is a disease that develops slowly, over a long period of time. In fact, most of the time, it requires decades for coronary heart disease to develop. For this very reason, coronary heart disease may not be revealed until it results in a heart attack. As mentioned above, coronary heart disease is caused by an accumulation of plaque inside of your coronary arteries? What cause this build up of plaque that results in coronary heart disease? Researchers believe that coronary heart disease originates with an injury or damage to the inner layer of your coronary artery. This may be produced by such things as:
- Physical inactivity and lack of exercise
- High cholesterol
- Anger and stress
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
- Radiation therapy to your chest that you receive for some types of cancer
- High levels of stress - Unrelieved stress can damage your coronary arteries.
- Age - Just growing older will increase your risk for this disease.
- Family history - A family history of heart disease may increase your risk.
- Gender Men are at greater risk.
- Chest pain You may begin to have pressure or tightness in your chest that feels like someone is standing on your chest.
- A heart attack You may experience pain in your shoulder or arm, shortness of breath and crushing pain in your chest, which are all classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- Shortness of breath You may experience total fatigue with exertion and swelling in your ankles and feet.
- Heart Attack and Disability Benefits (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Coronary Heart Disease Risk Estimation in Asymptomatic Adults (nursetopia.net)