Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Anatomy of Heart

Functioning of Heart

The heart is a muscle that is about the size of your fist. It pumps blood around your body and beats approximately 70 times a minute. After the blood leaves the right side of the heart, it goes to your lungs where it picks up oxygen. The Oxygen-Rich Blood returns to your heart and is then pumped to the organs of your body through a network of arteries. The blood returns to your heart through veins before being pumped back to your lungs again. This process is called Circulation of Blood.

Heart Disease

The heart gets its own supply of blood from a network of blood vessels on the surface of your heart; called Coronary Arteries. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the narrowing or blockage of the Coronary Arteries. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) also called Coronary Artery Disease. Itis a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the Coronary Arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called Atherosclerosis. The buildup of plaque occurs over many years.

Causes of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

The walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This process is known as Atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma. If Coronary Arteries become narrow due to a build-up of atheroma, the blood supply to your heart will be restricted. This can cause Angina (Chest Pains). If a Coronary Artery becomes completely blocked, it can cause a Heart Attack. The medical term for a Heart Attack is Myocardial Infarction.

Risk Factors of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

  • Around 20 percent of CHD-related deaths in men and 17 percent of CHD cases in women are caused by smoking.
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) ismost prevalent amongst people who are Obese.
  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of dying from Cardiovascular Disease in general and of CHD in particular. Physically inactive people have about double the risk of CHD.
  • Diabetes is a strong risk factor for Heart Disease.
  • High Blood Pressure increases your risks of Heart Disease and Heart Failure.
  • Extra Cholesterol in your blood builds up inside the walls of your heart’s arteries.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease can increase your risk.
  • People with Narrowed Arteries in another part of the body (examples are Stroke and poor blood flow to the legs) are more likely to have heart disease.
  • Use of Drugs like cocaine etc.
  • Heredity: Coronary heart disease runs in the family.

Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Common Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease include the following. A person usually may not have all of these symptoms.

  • Chest Pain on exertion (Angina Pectoris), which may be relieved by rest.
  • Shortness of Breath on exertion.
  • Jaw pain, back pain, or arm pain, especially on left side, either during exertion or at rest.
  • Palpitations (a sensation of rapid or very strong heart beats in your chest).
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting.
  • Weakness on exertion or at rest.
  • Irregular heartbeat.

The most devastating sign of Coronary Heart Disease is abrupt, unexpected Cardiac Arrest.

Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

  • Aspirin:When taken daily or every other day, aspirin reduces the risk of developing angina or heart attack by reducing the tendency of your blood to clot.
    • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, thus reducing your heart’s demand for oxygen. Clinical trials have shown prevention of future heart attacks and sudden death. Nitroglycerin: This medication reduces chest pain both by decreasing your heart’s oxygen demand and by dilating the coronary arteries, increasing the oxygen supply.
    • Sprays or tablets placed under your tongue are designed to be taken when you need instant relief from angina.
    • Long-acting nitroglycerin tablets or skin patches work slowly over many hours.
    • Calcium channel blockers: Calcium channel blockers dilate the coronary arteries to improve blood flow. They also reduce blood pressure, and slow heart rate. ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors work by dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow.
    • Statins:  Statin Drugs work by reducing the amounts of lipids (cholesterol and other fats) in your blood.


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