Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease - Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a...

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Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Coronary heart disease is usually caused by a condition called atherosclerosis , which occurs when fatty material and a substance called plaque build up on the walls of your arteries. This causes them to get narrow. As the coronary arteries narrow, blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop. This can cause chest pain ( stable angina ), shortness of breath, heart attack , and other symptoms. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death
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In atherosclerosis, fat and cholesterol in your blood builds up on an artery wall, forming a plaque or atheroma. The plaque can prevent the heart muscle from getting the blood supply (and therefore oxygen) that it needs. If you have atherosclerosis, physical exertion or emotional stress can bring on chest pain called angina (see What can coronary heart disease cause). Because of the reduced blood flow and the rough edges of the plaque, a blood clot sometimes forms. This can block the artery. Or the plaque may rupture, which also causes the blood to clot. This is called atherothrombosis. Atherothrombosis stops an area of the heart muscle receiving blood and oxygen, leading to permanent damage. This is called a myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack. If a lot of your heart muscle is damaged your heart may stop beating regularly, or stop beating at all. This is fatal (see What can coronary heart disease cause).
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Causes Bad genes (heredity) can increase your risk. You are more likely to develop the condition if someone in your family has had a history of heart disease -- especially if they had it before age 50. Your risk for CHD goes up the older
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course BIO 100 taught by Professor Robinson during the Fall '08 term at BYU.

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Coronary heart disease - Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a...

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