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Coronary Heart Disease : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Risk factors

Cholesterol is essential for our body for the synthesis of different enzymes, hormones, maintenance of various biochemical activities etc. But excess of cholesterol can be dangerous for the system. Cholesterol depositions mostly occur in the blood vessels, which hinders the flow of blood. Initially, this is just measured as the increase of blood pressure, but if the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscles are blocked, this can be fatal and can develop into an alarming situation. Coronary vessel is one such artery which delivers blood to different portions of heart. Cholesterol deposition along with calcium plaque formation, a condition known as atherosclerosis, can completely clog the artery and disrupt blood flow in the organ, resulting in loss of supply of oxygen. A low oxygen tension in heart results in an irreversible damage of a part of it, consequently heart attack.

Coronary Heart Disease


Coronary heart diseases can be a result of factors that influence our daily life or practices that are harmful for our body in general. Let’s take a look at some of the major causes that can induce a coronary heart disease.

  • Usage of drugs

Wrongful use of drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines can result in damage or weakening of coronary vessels.

  • High blood pressure

A high blood pressure induces a pressure on the walls of the blood vessel which can damage the tissues further increase the rate of cholesterol deposition and plaque formation, thus narrowing the arteries.

  • Diabetes

A diabetic person has high levels of glucose concentration in the blood, which can not only be damaging for the blood vessels but can also increase the chances of infection and very slow wound healing. All of these can enhance fat deposit in the arteries.

  • Smoking

Smoking harms the walls of the blood vessels and elevates the blood pressure as well. Damaged arteries are prone to fatty deposits.


If you have suffered from a coronary heart disease in the past or are likely to be affected by one in the future, you need to understand the symptoms that essentially mark the onset of this disease.

  • Angina pectoris

Tightness, pain or pressure is felt in the chest which usually occurs when there is a Coronary heart disease. This pain may be felt in the periphery as well.

  • Short breath

Due to improper blood circulation through the musculature, a part of the heart may get damaged, which can result into indiscreet pumping of blood to the body. This condition is mainly felt when the person exercises, or undergoes some physical stress.

  • Heart Attack

A clogged artery can lead to heart attack with classical symptoms like severe sharp pain in chest, heavy sweating, and shortness of breath or sudden collapse.

Risk factors

There are a number of people who are more likely to develop coronary heart disease. The major risk factors include:

  • Age

As a person gets older, the risk of developing coronary heart disease increases. The arteries get weakened and narrowed; hence the plaque gets deposited faster. Men are more prone to the disease and the incidence increases at 45, while for women it is 55 years.

  • High blood pressure

Higher the blood pressure more is the probability of coronary heart disease. It is better to keep the blood pressure to as normal as possible and avoid causes that can enhance the problem.

  • Diabetes

Ignored diabetes over time can contribute not only lead to an increment in blood pressure, but both of these can synergistically act towards coronary heart disease.

  • Smoking

The people into smoking have high probability to get their arteries damaged, accumulation of toxins in the blood, infection, and slowly proceeding to coronary heart disease.

  • Inheritance

A familial history of high cholesterol, heart disease, weak heart, in born disorders of heart, metabolic syndromes, etc. puts a person into the risk of developing the coronary artery blockage. The chances of developing the disease increase if the father or mother has the disease.

  • High cholesterol levels

Unhealthy life style and food can lead to the deposition of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is difficult to be utilized, unlike other nutrients. LDL intake further deteriorates the situation. A shift to a healthy life style and replacing LDL with HDL can be effective.

Also See : How to Lower Cholesterol Levels ?

  • Stress

Mental stress hampers the body, disrupts our biological clock, causes hormonal imbalance, increases blood pressure and incidence of diabetes. All the factors are equally responsible for harming the heart.

  • Physical inactivity

The life style that we follow nowadays has least time left for any physical activity. This results in the development of a number of diseases, one of which is coronary heart disease.


Coronary heart disease can be controlled by making small changes in our sedentary life style.

One can avoid the occurrence of coronary heart disease by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Improving the diet with balanced minerals and nutrients
  • Bringing down the intake of salt
  • Switching to HDL which is the good cholesterol,
  • Lowering the stress, mediation and living a stress-free life can improve the health of the heart.
  • Physical exercise accelerates the blood flow and helps in clearing the blockage, balances the hormones and keeps the level of fat to the required limit in the body.
  • Continuous monitoring of the heart condition and a regular health check-up is a must.
  • Managing diabetes and high blood pressure is also necessary.

If the plaque has narrowed the arteries more, then proper medications to dissolve the plaque and surgical methods are also available.

There are several surgical methods to treat coronary heart disease which includes:

  • Bypass Surgery

It involves two types of surgeries which include beating heart and arrested heart surgery. While the first type of surgery is done while the patient’s heart is continuously beating, the second type is done while the patient’s heart beat is brought to a halt as machines take the job of pumping blood to the body.

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive surgery for coronary heart disease is done with a small incision in the body which includes methods such as stenting, angioplasty, and MICS CABG.

A lot can be done by patients to prevent the onset of this disease. Proper and timely medication with ample exercise is the right way to have a disease free life.

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About Anirudh Singh

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