Coronary heart disease (CHD) is also known for having alternative names such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and Arteriosclerotic heart disease. It is a condition wherein the plaque starts building up inside the coronary arteries which supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. The process of plaque building up is called atherosclerosis. This plaque is made up of calcium, fat, cholesterol and other substances that are usually found in the blood. The plaque narrows down the arteries and reduces the blood flow in the heart muscles. Once the arteries become narrow, blood clotting can happen and this can block the flow of blood. Since the flow of blood and oxygen are blocked and may result to a heart attack, also known as angina. In the long term, coronary heart disease can lead to heart failure and arrhythmias. It is also the most common of all the heart diseases and it the number one cause of death for both men and women in the US. There are about 12 million Americans suffering from this condition.
What are the things that may increase a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)? Age is common risk factor for CHD for both men and women. Men increase the risk of experiencing this condition when they reach the age of forty while in women, as they get older and go through menopausal stages the risk of heart disease increases. In short, for both men and women, the risk of having this heart condition increases as they get older. Statistics show that people who die because of heart disease are sixty-five years old and older. Having chronic kidney disease can also be associated with coronary heart disease. Stress can also be a factor in increasing the risk of heart disease. Stress can be caused by problems in his personal life, health behaviors and socioeconomic status. Stress can lead a person to overeat and smoke which are some leading causes of heart conditions. Alcohol intake can also be a risk factor because it increases blood pressure which may result to heart failure or stroke.
What does a person with coronary heart disease will experience? There is a long list of symptoms that someone with this disease can experience. Angina or angina pectoris can be felt. This is a symptom wherein chest pain, discomfort and tightness can occur due to the decreasing supply of oxygen and blood transported to the heart muscles. Shortness of breath can also be experienced because some body organs are not receiving the desired oxygen. Heart attack is a symptom that most people should be avoiding. Some of the possible symptoms of heart attack include chest pain, coughing, dizziness, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, sweating and restlessness. The person can also feel terrorized and awful. The best way to diagnose and measure the scope of coronary heart disease is through coronary angiography. So if a person start to experience some symptoms that clearly state that he has CHD, it is recommended to immediately see a doctor to confirm.