Coronary artery disease, also referred to as coronary heart disease, as well as just heart disease affects over 12 million Americans on a national level making it the number one killer of Americans. I will explain the disease, its cause, its symptoms, and its known treatments, as well as any additional relevant information on the disease.
Coronary artery disease is defined as when the arteries of the heart become clogged and narrowed, causing restricted blood flow to the heart. This definition may also be referred to as arteriosclerosis. The heart starves of adequate oxygen and vital nutrients without the proper amount of blood that is required therefore; the heart is unable to work properly.
There are known causes of this disease. One cause begins during juvenile development when fats start to deposit in the blood vessel walls. As the subject grows older, the fat builds up. This situation causes further injury, namely in vessel walls.
This takes place because in an attempt to heal itself, the cells in the vessels release chemicals that make the lining of the walls sticky. Then inflammatory cells, proteins, and calcium that naturally travel the bloodstream begin sticking to the damaged vessel wall. These substances along with the already present fat combine to form a material known as plague. The plague continues to build, which leads to the arteriosclerosis, more commonly known as narrowing of the artery.
Plague deposits are typically harder on the outside while soft and mushy on the inside. The harder outside may easily crack and tear exposing the soft, fatty inside. This is when a bad situation worsens. Platelets that are traveling the bloodstream start to stick around the plague, forming blood clots. This causes the artery to narrow even more or even causing a complete blockage.
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