Coronary Heart Disease Essay

926 words - 4 pages

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. 13 million people are affected by this disease. CHD is also called Hardening of the Arteries, CAD. CHD is cause by the build-up of plaque in the arteries that connect to the heart. The build-up is caused by fat materials and other substances that form plaque. The plaque builds-up on the wall of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are responsible of the blood flow and oxygen that gets to the heart. The build-up of the fat materials causes the arteries to get narrow, this results in the blood flow and oxygen to the heart to slow down or even stop.

The heart and arteries are the major organs that are affected by the Coronary Heart Disease. Blood flow not circulating enough to the whole body also damages the heart tissue. The reduce blood flow causes the heart to work harder so the rest of the body can get blood. The kidneys are damage by CHD because the kidneys are not receiving enough blood. Just like the kidneys, the rest of the body organs are damaged as well due to the little blood flow they receive.

Signs and symptoms come along with any disease, some symptoms may be noticeable but sometimes there's just no symptoms at all. The common symptom for Coronary Heart Disease is chest pain and/or discomfort. This happens when the heart is not getting oxygen and blood. How strong the chest pains are varies from patient to patient. The chest pains my feel like the heart is being squeezed. The pain may be felt below the sternum but also in the neck, arms, stomach, and upper back. The chest pain usually occurs when the patient is doing activities or is in motion but it goes away with rest or a medicine called Nitroglycerin. Other symptoms are shortness of breath and fatigue. Elderly patients who suffer with diabetes have different symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness.

All diseases have risk factors. Risk factors increase the chance of getting the disease or health condition. Some factors can be change but others can not. Changing the possible ones may help a patient live longer.

Risk factors that can not be change are age, genes, and race. Age increases the risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Genes and race increase the risk as well, these as well as age can not be changed. Men have a higher risk for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) than women due to menstruating on women. After women hit menopause the risk gets high as the men risk. Race also gives patient a higher risk factor for CHD. The races that are most common with CHD are African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, American-Indians, Hawaiians, and Asian-Americans. Age, race, and genes are the risk...

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