Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis (sometimes called “hardening” or “clogging” of the arteries) is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) on the inner walls of the arteries. These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically clogging the artery or by causing abnormal artery tone and function.

Without an adequate blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to work properly. This can cause chest pain called angina. If blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is cut off entirely, or if the energy demands of the heart become much greater than its blood supply, a heart attack (injury to the heart muscle) may occur.

It is most commonly equated with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, but coronary disease can be due to other causes, such as coronary vasospasm. It is possible for the stenosis to be caused by spasm.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Face shape is in the genes

Many of the characteristics that make up a person's face, such as nose size and face width, stem from specific genetic variations, reports John Shaffer of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and colleagues, in a ...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

Stem cell propagation fuels cancer risk in different organs

The idea that stem cells - special cells that divide to repair and generate tissues - might be the major determinant of cancer risk has provoked great debate in the scientific community. Some researchers maintain that environmental ...