When the blood supply to the heart is blocked by the accumulation of fatty substances in the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle, it results in what is known as Coronary heart disease. This can lead to the artery walls becoming clogged with fatty deposits. For some people, the first sign of coronary heart disease may be a Heart Attack which may be fatal.
Associated Anatomy Of Coronary Heart Disease
It affects the coronary arteries and therefore heart muscle.
Alternate Name for Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is sometimes known as ischemic heart disease.
Coronary Heart Disease Causes
When the blood supply to the heart is affected by the accumulation of fatty substances in the coronary arteries, it can lead to coronary heart disease. The coronary artery gets obstructed with fatty deposits and calcium (atherosclerosis). Lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and insulin resistance can put you at risk for atherosclerosis. Family history of Heart Disease also is a very important risk factor.
Coronary Heart Disease Symptoms
Coronary Heart Disease Symptoms Are:
Chest pain or angina: Exhibits pressure or tightness in your chest, usually in the middle or left side of the chest, especially on exertion.
Heart Attack: This is caused by a completely blocked coronary artery. Symptoms include crushing pressure in the chest and pain in the shoulder or arm. May be associated with profuse cold sweat.
Shortness of Breath: The reason for this is your heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.
Pain throughout the body
Feeling of light-headedness
Coronary Heart Disease Tests
First, the doctor will do a risk assessment, where you will be asked about your medical and family history. Blood pressure and cholesterol are checked through blood tests. You will also be asked about lifestyle, exercise, and whether you smoke.
Other Tests Include
Electrocardiogram to reveal evidence of a previous heart attack or one that is in progress
Echocardiogram to determine whether all parts of the heart wall are contributing normally to your heart's pumping activity
X-rays to detect the presence of calcium in the heart or blood vessel
Exercise stress tests, where you will be asked to walk on a treadmill
Nuclear stress test to measure blood flow to the heart
Cardiac catheterization and angiogram to determine blockages
Cardiac CT Scan is to examine if there are calcium deposits in the arteries
CT coronary angiogram to produce detailed images of the heart arteries.
Coronary Heart Disease Treatment Involves:
This includes quitting smoking, eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol, and reducing stress.
The condition is treated with drugs such as cholesterol-modifying medications, aspirin (to reduce the tendency of the blood to clot), beta-blockers (to slow heart rate), calcium channel blockers (if beta-blockers alone aren't effective), and ACE inhibitors (to decrease blood pressure).
Coronary artery stent, angioplasty, and Coronary Bypass Surgery help to restore and improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors
Risk factors for coronary heart disease include -
Age: Advancing age increases the risk of damaged and narrowed arteries.
Sex: Men are generally at greater risk of coronary heart disease. In the case of women, the risk increases after menopause.
Family History: This is associated with a higher risk of Coronary Artery Disease, especially if a close relative developed heart disease at an early age. The risk is highest if a person’s father or brother was diagnosed before age 55 or if their mother or sister developed coronary heart disease younger than 65.
Smoking: This significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Breathing in second-hand smoke also increases risk.
Hypertension: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in the hardening, narrowing, and thickening of arteries. High blood cholesterol: This can increase the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis.
Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of coronary heart disease and share similar risk factors, such as obesity and hypertension.
Obesity: Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors and itself increases risk.
Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of exercise is associated with coronary heart disease.
High Stress: Unrelieved stress may damage arteries.
Unhealthy Diet: High amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Sleep Apnea: Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure, possibly leading to coronary heart disease.
Alcohol Use: Heavy consumption can lead to heart muscle damage.
Autoimmune Diseases: Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein: This protein appears in higher-than-normal amounts when there's inflammation in the body.
Triglycerides: High levels of this lipid may raise the risk of coronary heart disease, especially for women.
Homocysteine: High levels of this amino acid may increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Preeclampsia: This condition, which sometimes develops in women during pregnancy, causes high blood pressure leading to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
Coronary Heart Disease Stages
The various stages of coronary heart disease are as follows:
Hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome may contribute to the development of this stage. Chances are also higher for those with a history of alcohol abuse, inflammations such as rheumatic fever, certain forms of cardiotoxic drug intervention, or cardiomyopathy (a hereditary heart disease).
This is when there is a dysfunction in the left chamber or ventricle of the heart. Those who have had valve disease, a heart attack, or been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy may enter this stage.
Systolic heart failure is exhibited at this stage, accompanied by tiredness and difficulty breathing.
Here, the left ventricle may not be able to contract properly, resulting in heart failure.
Coronary Heart Disease Prevention
Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease
The same lifestyle habits used to help treat coronary artery disease can also help prevent it. They include -
Maintaining a healthy weight
Controlling conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes
Staying physically active
Eating a balanced, low-fat, low-salt diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Reducing stress levels
Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a low-fat, low-salt diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, exercising regularly, managing stress, and quitting smoking are some ways to prevent coronary heart disease. Secondary prevention includes medical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, surgical intervention in the form of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, and drug treatment.
Possible Complications Of Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease can lead to:
Chest pain or angina occurs when coronary arteries narrow.
Heart attack: Complete blockage of the heart artery may trigger a heart attack.
Arrhythmia: Abnormal Heart Rhythm occurs when there is an inadequate blood supply to the heart.
Epidemiology of Coronary Heart Disease
It is estimated that coronary heart disease affects around 126 million individuals or 1.72% of the world’s population. Men are usually more commonly impacted than women.
Expected Prognosis of Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is treatable, but there is no cure. Timely diagnosis and treatment provided excellent quality of life, Survival advantage and event-free survival and very good progress.
Natural Progression of Coronary Heart Disease
Although atherosclerosis is believed to progress over many years, in some patients it can progress over a few months to two years. But healthy lifestyle habits can help to halt the progress of heart disease.
Pathophysiology of Coronary Heart Disease
Atherosclerosis is the pathologic process of lipid accumulation, scarring, and inflammation in the vascular wall, leading to thickening, calcification, and in some cases, thrombosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the success rate of angioplasty/stenting for coronary heart disease in Delhi?
The success rate of angioplasty/stenting for coronary heart disease in Delhi is generally high, with a significant improvement in blood flow and symptom relief. However, success rates may vary depending on individual factors, the extent of the disease, and the expertise of the medical team.
2. Can lifestyle changes alone treat coronary heart disease?
Lifestyle changes alone may not completely treat coronary heart disease, but they play a crucial role in managing the condition. Adopting a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, quitting smoking, managing stress, and controlling other risk factors can significantly improve heart health and potentially slow down the progression of the disease.
3. Can medication effectively manage coronary heart disease?
Medications play a crucial role in managing coronary heart disease. They help control blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of blood clot formation, thus improving overall heart health & some cases are managed with medication & lifestyle changes along with regular follow up.
4. Can stress management techniques help in the treatment of coronary heart disease?
Yes, stress management techniques like relaxation exercises, meditation, and counseling can be beneficial for individuals with coronary heart disease. Reducing stress levels can help improve overall well-being and potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
5. What are the long-term outcomes of coronary heart disease treatment?
The long-term outcomes of coronary heart disease treatment vary depending on the individual's condition, the chosen treatment approach, and adherence to lifestyle modifications. With proper management, many individuals lead a fulfilling and active life.
Our BLK-Max Medical Experts
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the BLK-Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91-11-30403040