Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, also referred to as CHD or CAD, is a grave form of the condition called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It develops due to the deposits of LDL or the bad cholesterol on the wall of the artery. This extremely results in a buildup of faty deposits called plaque.
Due to this the artery becomes narrows and does not allow sufficient amount of blood to pass through to the heart causing the chest pain of angina. That's not all; if plaque breaks off, it triggers the formation of a blood clot on its surface, which in turn cuts off the blood supply to the heart muscles. The result is a heart attack because the blocked blood supply killed vital cells.
CHD affects several hundred million people across the world and is one of the leading causes of death in men and women. However, not everyone is vulnerable to the condition; for instance, men develop CHD about 10 years earlier than women.
Angina is one of the most common symptoms of CHD. It is often described as a mild uncomfortable feeling similar to indigestion. Although a severe angina attack can cause a feeling of heaviness or intensity, usually in the center of the chest, which may later radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.
Physical activity or stressful situations often trigger angina. The symptoms usually pass in less than 10 minutes and can be relieved by resting or using a nitrate tablet or spray.
Heart attack is another symptom of CHD, which can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle and, if not treated immediately, can be fatal. The feeling of discomfort and pain is quite similar to that of angina, but it's often more severe. These are some of the warning signals of a heart attack:
The symptoms of a heart attack are very similar to indigestion, for example heaviness in the chest, a stomach ache or heartburn. Heart attacks do not needlessly happen while you're moving; they can also happen while you're at rest. If there is a pain in your heart that lasts longer than 15 minutes, it might be the start of a heart attack.
Another common symptom of CHD is heart failure. It happens when the heart is too weak to pump blood to other parts of your body, which leads the fluids to build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Heart failure can happen suddenly (acute heart failure) or gradually, over time (chronic heart failure).