Coronary heart disease

What is Coronary heart disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as ischemic heart disease (IHD), A common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Occasionally it may feel like heartburn. Usually symptoms occur with exercise or emotional stress, last less than a few minutes, and gets better with rest. Shortness of breath may also occur and sometimes no symptoms are present. Other complications include heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.

Risk factors include: high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol, among others. A number of tests may help with diagnoses including: electrocardiogram, cardiac stress testing, and coronary angiogram among others.

Prevention is by eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. Sometimes medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure are also used. Additional medications such as aspirin, beta blockers, or nitrogylcerin may be recommended. Procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) may be used in severe disease. In those with stable CAD it is unclear if PCI or CABG in addition to the other treatments improve life expectancy or decreases heart attack risk.

In 2013 CAD was the most common cause of death globally, resulting in 8.14 million deaths (16.8%) up from 5.74 million deaths (12%) in 1990. Rates are higher among men than women of a given age.

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