Coronary Heart Disease

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

Coronary heart disease also known as coronary artery disease, is the leading cause of death found in males and females located in the U.S. Coronary Artery disease is also the most common type of heart disease. CAD occurs when the blood vessels are narrowed or hardened due to the blockage of cholesterol, plaque, and other materials building up in the inner walls of the blood vessels. Due to this blockage, it can lead to chest pains or signs of a heart attack. Over time, the heart will begin to weaken which will increase the chances of cardiac arrest.

Causes of Coronary Artery Disease

There are many risks that can increase obtaining Coronary artery disease however; these factors increase the risk additionally.

  • High Cholesterol: Having a high cholesterol means that low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) is greater than high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol). Having high cholesterol present will increase the chances of cholesterol build up in the blood vessels.
  • Heredity- CAD can be passed onto children
  • Tobacco abuse
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy diet- An example of an unhealthy diet is consuming high fat foods

Symptoms of Coronary artery disease

In the most severe cases CAD can lead to the worst symptom, cardiac arrest. CAD can also cause discomfort for people in their chest due to the arteries being blocked due to a buildup of cholesterol. The most common symptoms of CAD are: shortness of breath, headaches, fainting, or dizziness

Other symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swelling in the feet
  • Pain felt in the shoulders or arms
  • Discomfort in the chest

Preventing CAD

Coronary artery disease is a very serious disease and also a major cause of death for citizens in the U.S. If you quit smoking, it will reduce the chance of obtaining CAD. Also, maintaining a healthy diet by eating foods low in fat, high in fiber and many green vegetables will reduce the possibility of obtaining CAD. Increasing the amount of physical activity accomplished in a day will also lower the risk of acquiring CAD. Daily exercise will prompt the heart to maintain a constant rhythm and improves cholesterol level while maintaining control of blood pressure.

Medical Treatment

Due to the nature of CAD, blood vessels tend to fail sending the required amount of oxygen to the heart which increases the severity of CAD. The medications listed here works to either slow down the heart’s demand for oxygen or reduce sharp chest pain.

Aspirin: When taken daily, aspirin will reduce the risk of developing a heart attack or a blood clot.

Beta Blockers: They decrease the heart rate and blood pressure which means that the heart will demand less oxygen.

Nitroglycerin: Works to reduce chest pain by decreasing the heart’s demand for oxygen however, it expands the coronary artery which increases the amount of oxygen being delivered to the heart.

Calcium Channel Blockers: Works by expanding the coronary arteries to increase the supply of blood moving to the heart.

Statins: Work by reducing the amounts of lipids (cholesterol) present in the blood stream.