Introduction to Coronary HEART Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) usually refers to narrowing of the coronary artery which supplies blood to the heart muscles. This narrowing results from deposition of lipid particles on the inner wall of the artery (atherosclerosis). This leads to decrease in blood flow to the heart muscles. While this does not create any problem during regular, undemanding activities and rest, any kind of exertion creates pressure in the heart, generating a sudden need for increased oxygen and blood.
The narrowed artery is unable to cope with this increased demand, manifesting in the form of chest pain. As the acute need for oxygen passes away with rest, the chest pain lessens in intensity and is alleviated. This condition is known as Angina Pectoris. But when the previously narrowed coronary arteries are blocked by a blood clot, that portion of the heart muscle supplied by these vessels becomes completely devoid of oxygen and gets damaged permanently. This condition is known as Myocardial infarction (Heart Attack).