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Coronary Artery Disease

aka Ischemic Heart Disease?

Background:

Coronary Artery Disease
Cholesterol plaque in artery, 3D illustration. Concept for coronary artery disease

The Centers for Disease Control shows that over 600,000 Americans die every year from the heart-related diseases. Out of those,  370,000 die from coronary artery disease thus having a high morbidity rate. Also, the government reports that 735,000 people a year have heart attacks (MI-Myocardial Infarction).

Heart Disease, including Coronary Artery Disease, related death for different ethnicities ranges from a high of 23.8% of deaths for Blacks and Whites to a low of 18.4% for American Indians and Alaskan aborigines.  In the middle of the range are people from an Asian background at 22.2%.

Physiology:

When a patient has an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle(Myocardium), it can lead to insufficient delivery of oxygen to the heart muscle. When this happens, the patient has Ischemic Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease).  Atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque on the artery wall is primarily responsible for coronary artery disease. When Plaque builds up on arterial walls the lumen of the artery becomes narrowed. This narrowing leads to Inadequate blood supply to the muscle of the heart and can lead to chest pain (Angina Pectoris), arrhythmias, heart attack, and heart failure.

Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease:

Most of the risk factors for coronary artery disease are lifestyle related.

  • A sedentary, inactive lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Alcohol Abuse

Signs you may be having a heart attack:

  • Cold Sweating
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Discomfort
  • Pain in the Arm, Jaw, neck, or upper abdomen
  • Nausea
Updated on March 7, 2019

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