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Types and Causes of Coronary Heart Disease.

  • Date Submitted: 10/31/2010 06:02 PM
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According to the online journal MEDICAL NEWS TODAY coronary heart disease (CHD) is the narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. It is known that cardiovascular disease is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death worldwide. The leading cause of this modern day pandemic is the sedentary lifestyle and diets rich in calories with high amounts of saturated fats, salt and simple sugars.

There are a few types of CHD namely congestive heart failure, angina pectoris and myocardial infarction. The coronary arteries are blood vessels on the heart that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. The basic structure of artery is made up of tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia. Tunica intima consists of endothelium cells that line the lumen of the vessel, tunica media consist of smooth muscle and elastic fibers and tunica adventitia consist of collagen fibers.

Figure 1: Basic structure of artery.

The narrowing or the coronary artery is known as atherosclerosis in which plaque or fatty substances build up inside the walls of the vessel. Plaque is a fatty material made up of cholesterol, calcium and other substances. When plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the heart does not get sufficient amount of blood needed for it to work well. If a plaque tears the body tries to fix the tear by forming a blood clot around it. This causes the artery to narrow even more. Over time this can weaken or damage the heart.

Figure 2: Formation of plaque in artery.

Congestive heart disease is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. The condition may affect just the right chamber or just the left chamber of the heart, more often both chambers are involved. When the heart’s pumping action is lost fluid starts to build up in the lungs, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract and the arms and the legs. As a result, there is lack of oxygen rich blood flow and...

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