The United States National Heart and Lung Institute defines Coronary heart disease (CHD) as a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. The building up of the plaque in the arteries over many years, leads to the narrowing of the blood vessel resulting to a condition referred to as Atherosclerosis
The condition can be very life threatening as a lot complication can arise from the accumulation of plaques within the vessel. Rupturing plagues can lead to the formation of blood clots, which can obstruct the vital flow of blood to the coronary artery.
Furthermore, when plagues harden they lead to the narrowing of the coronary artery slowing or obstructing the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. This condition is known as Ischemia. It is important to note that, the building up of these plaque in the heart’s arteries can lead to heart attack.
According to the world health organization (WHO) reviewed Fact sheet of September 2016, an estimated 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death and disability in developed countries. Although CHD mortality rates worldwide have declined over the past four decades, CHD remains responsible for about one-third or more of all deaths in individuals over age 35. It has been estimated that, nearly one-half of all middle-aged men and one-third of middle-aged women in the United States will develop some manifestation of CHD.
There are several risk factors that predispose an individual to coronary heart disease, these factors increase likelihood of developing CHD
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Being physically inactive
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of heart disease
- Ethnic background
- Sex – men are more likely to develop CHD at an earlier age than women.
- Age – the older you are, the more likely you are to develop CHD.
Chest pain (angina)
Shortness of breath
Diagnosis of coronary heart disease (CHD) is often carried out after a risk assessment where the doctor will review the patients
- Medical and family history
- Check your blood pressure
- Carry out blood test to determine cholesterol level
4 .Further tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG) exercise stress tests, X-rays echocardiogram, blood tests, coronary angiography, radionuclide tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, computerized tomography (CT) scans may be carried out to confirm a suspected diagnosis.
There are several drugs used in the management of coronary heart disease also called coronary artery disease. This however depends on the need of the patient. In general four classes of drugs are used in the management of the condition. This includes;
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
- Fibrates and Statins
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