Coronary heart disease is the top killer of men and women alike in the United States. When not properly addressed and treated with good cardiac care, it can lead to a number of life-threatening events, including arrhythmias, angina, heart attack, and total heart failure. Here’s what you need to know about this serious condition.
What Causes Coronary Heart Disease?
Coronary heart disease develops when the blood vessels into or out of the heart become blocked or hardened, most commonly by a buildup of plaque inside the veins or arteries. As plaque accumulates and thickens, the passage through the vessels is narrowed, and less blood is able to move through. This can cause both increased blood pressure and, eventually, total blockage, cutting off the blood supply completely. If the plaque dislodges, it can cause a blood clot to form, which can also block the vein or artery.
What Causes Plaque to Build Up in the Blood Vessels?
Plaque can begin to accumulate in childhood, and usually gathers where the blood vessels are weakened or damaged in some way. Certain lifestyle choices can greatly increase the chances of this happening. Risk factors include a fatty diet, uncontrolled cholesterol levels, abnormally high blood sugar levels, inflammation of the vessels, high blood pressure, and smoking.
What Is the Treatment for Coronary Heart Disease?
Proper cardiac care, along with lifestyle changes, can greatly reduce your risk of coronary heart disease complications. Certain medications to manage high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol may be recommended. Sticking to a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is also a good idea. If you are a smoker, quitting now will go a long way toward improving your overall health and controlling your heart disease.
To learn more about coronary heart disease, call Englewood Community Hospital at (888) 658-1598 or visit our website for more resources. We can provide heart catheterization to aid in your cardiac care. If you are having chest pain or any symptoms of a heart attack, seek emergency care immediately.