Introduction

Coronary artery spasm (disorder), Angina pectoris with documented spasm, Coronary spasm,

 

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death worldwide.

It's responsible for more than 73,000 deaths in the UK each year. About 1 in6 men and 1 in10 women die from CHD.

In the UK, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with CHD and around 2 million people affected by Angina (the most common symptom of coronary heart disease).

CHD generally affects more men than women, althoughfrom the age of 50 the chances of developingthe conditionare similar for both sexes.

As well as angina (chest pain), the main symptoms of CHD are heart attacks and heart failure . However, not everyone has the same symptoms and some people may not have any before CHD is diagnosed.

CHD is sometimes called ischaemic heart disease.

It pumps blood around your body and beats approximately 70 times a minute. After the blood leaves the right side of the heart, it goes to your lungs where it picks up oxygen.

The oxygen-rich blood returns to your heart and is then pumped to the body's organs through a network of arteries. The blood returns to your heart through veins before being pumped back to your lungs again. This process is called circulation.

The heart gets its own supply of blood from a network of blood vessels on the heart's surface called coronary arteries.

What causes coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.

Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma.

Atherosclerosis can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, such as:

  • smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • diabetes

This involves asking about your medical and family history, your lifestyle and taking a blood test .

Further tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of CHD, including:

  • an MRI scan
  • a CT scan
  • coronary angiography

These include:

  • eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • being physically active
  • giving up smoking
  • controlling blood cholesterol and sugar levels

Keeping your heart healthy will also have other health benefits, such as helpingreduce your risk of stroke and dementia .

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Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 6 Jan 2017