Causes Of Coronary Heart Disease

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Causes Of Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease also known as coronary artery disease is the medical condition that results when there is an issue with the coronary arteries that causes them to become narrower. Coronary arteries are the blood vessels responsible for providing oxygenated blood to the heart. There are several causes of coronary heart disease. However, the most common cause is plaque buildup in the arteries.

Other causes of coronary heart disease include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco abuse, emotional stress, lack of exercise and a high fat diet. All these causes will do damage to the coronary arteries. Heredity is also one of the causes of coronary heart disease as studies have shown that this disease does run in families.

Plaque buildup in the coronary arteries results in a condition called atherosclerosis. The name comes from the fact that plaque, which is actually fatty deposits, is called atheroma. The plaque consists of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and other wastes such as calcium from body processes.

The plaque buildup causes a narrowing of the coronary arteries which causes them to not be able to supply sufficient oxygenated blood to the heart. When there is insufficient blood supply to the heart, a condition referred to as ischemia results. Ischemia can cause weakening of the heart muscle.

Atherosclerosis is one of the rather serious causes of coronary heart disease as it may lead to a coronary thrombosis. Coronary thrombosis is a blood clot in the artery which forms if the plaque breaks off from the wall of the artery. The clot actually forms becomes platelets gather at the place the plaque broke away from. The clot causes futher blockage of the artery and can completely block the heart’s blood supply. When this happens, a heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs.

Strictly speaking, the causes of coronary heart disease such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, high fat diet and so on are more risk factors than causes. Other risk factors include age (the older you are the higher your chances of getting coronary heart disease), gender (men are more likely to get the disease than women before menopause), race and substance abuse.

In some cases, coronary heart disease happens without any of the typical risk factors or causes of coronary heart disease. These factors include the condition sleep apnea which sometimes causes high blood pressure; lipoprotein a, which forms when bad cholesterol (LDL) attaches to a type of protein found in the body, and interferes with the dissolution of blood clots, high levels of fibronigen, the protein that helps in clotting of blood, high levels of the amino acid homocysteine and high levels of C-reactive protein. These factors increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Any of these causes of coronary heart disease can lead to bypass heart surgery. If surgery is needed the patient should follow all instructions to help prevent any bypass surgery complications.