Oxygen is carried in the blood, which flows through the heart’s blood vessels (coronary arteries) to the heart muscle. Coronary heart disease is the term used to describe what happens when this supply is blocked. This is caused by deposition of fatty substances in the arteries. If the coronary arteries become partially blocked, they can lead to chest pains called angina. If the arteries become completely blocked, they can lead to a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Heart disease occurs when there is a build up of fatty deposits of cholesterol and waste substances in the walls of the arteries. The deposits form plaque, which clogs up the arteries, making them narrower, thus blocking blood flow. This is called arteriosclerosis.
Coronary thrombosis (clotting of the blood within an artery or a vein of the heart) happens when blood turns from liquid form to solid in one of the heart’s arteries. This creates a clot in one of the coronary arteries and stops blood supply to the heart muscle. Coronary thrombosis usually happens at the same place where there is already arteriosclerosis.
Having high blood pressure (hypertension) also puts a strain on the heart and can lead to coronary heart disease. Family background of this illness, diabetes, obesity and smoking all increase the risk of a fatal heart attack.
Other sources of information for these topics.
American Heart Association
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Heart Disease - home
Focuses on strategies for the prevention and management of disease. Includes articles on new therapeutics, surgical approaches and alternative medicine.
Online Pharmacy Information
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