coronary heart disease

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Definition - What does coronary heart disease mean?

Coronary heart disease is a condition in which the arteries supplying oxygenated blood to the heart become narrowed. The reduced of blood flow to the heart causes muscle damage over time and can trigger a heart attack. This narrowing is usually caused by a substance called plaque that builds up on the walls of the coronary arteries. If this plaque hardens, it may cause ruptures and lead to blood clots that create blockages. Those blockages then further reduce blood flow. Coronary heart disease is also called coronary artery disease or heart disease.

SureHire explains coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease refers specifically to a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries. This narrowing is caused by a build-up of plaque on the arterial walls; a condition referred to as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can affect any of the arteries of the body. When the coronary arteries are restricted, a heart attack (angina) may occur. During angina, the muscles of the heart that are not receiving oxygen due to lack of blood flow begin to die. Untreated, a heart attack can lead to permanent damage to the heart muscles. Excessive damage will lead to arrhythmias or heart failure. With this condition, the heart may no longer be able to pump enough blood to serve the rest of the body. Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death for adults in the United States. Heart disease is treated with medicine, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery.

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