Coronary Artery Disease : What Has It Got To Do With Cholesterol?
What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
Another name given to it is Coronary Heart Disease. In fact, the term is interchangeable and they practically mean the same thing. But before we can understand the terms we must first know what Atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease is.
What Is Atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease)?
Atherosclerosis is the result of the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. This slow and progressive process silently blocks arteries, restricting blood flow.
Atherosclerosis is the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. Together, they are called "cardiovascular disease".
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America, with more than 800,000 deaths in 2005 alone.
Atherosclerosis starts early. A 2001 study of 262 apparently healthy people's hearts may surprise you:
51.9% had some atherosclerosis at very early age Atherosclerosis was present in 85% of those older than 50 17% of teenagers had atherosclerosis
There is no symptoms, and very few had narrowing in any arteries. This disease can only be detected early by special tests.
If you are 40 and healthy, you have about a 50% chance of developing atherosclerosis in your lifetime. The risk goes up as you aged. The majority of those above 60 have some atherosclerosis but often without noticeable symptoms.
However, the rates of death from atherosclerosis have fallen by 25% compared to 30 years ago. This is because of better life styles and improved treatments.
Atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease)is a slow and progressive disease, but it's also preventable. For example, nine risk factors are listed here for up to 90% of all heart attacks:
Smoking, High cholesterol, High blood pressure, Diabetes,
Abdominal obesity, Stress, Not eating fruits and vegetables
Excess intake alcohol, Lack of regular exercise.
These factors are within your control - meaning, you can do something about them! Experts agree that reducing your risk factors will lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
People who’ve had a heart attack or stroke, or who suffer angina, taking a baby aspirin a day helps prevent clots from forming. Ask your doctor before starting daily aspirin, as it can have side effects.
Atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease)starts when high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol damage the endothelium.(inner walls of arteries)
Bad cholesterol, or LDL, caurses damaged endothelium. The cholesterol enters the wall of the
artery and starts the formation of plaque.
Your white blood cells stream in to digest the LDL cholesterol. after years, the accumulating mess of cholesterol and cells becomes a plaque in the wall of the artery. It's a mixture of lipids, cholesterol, cells, and debris, and it creates a mole on the artery wall. As the process of atherosclerosis continues, the mole gets bigger until it creates a blockage.
Atherosclerosis tends to take place throughout the body. Thus, if you have plaque in your heart, you're at a higher risk for stroke.
Atherosclerosis usually causes no symptoms until middle or older age. Once narrowing become severe, they choke off blood flow causing pain. Blockages can also suddenly rupture, causing blood to clot inside an artery at the site of the rupture.
Atherosclerosis and Plaque Attacks
Plaques from atherosclerosis can behave in different ways. They can stay within the artery wall. There, the plaque grows to a certain size and stops. Because they don't block blood flow, these plaques may never cause any symptoms.
They can grow in a slow, controlled way into the path of blood flow. Eventually, they cause significant blockages. Pain on exertion (in the chest or legs) is the usual symptom.
The worst-case scenario:
plaques can suddenly rupture, allowing blood to clot inside an artery. In the brain, this causes a stroke; in the heart, a heart attack.
The plaques of atherosclerosis cause the three main types of cardiovascular disease:
Coronary artery disease:
Stable plaques in the heart's arteries cause angina (chest pain on exertion). Sudden plaque rupture and clotting causes heart muscle to die. This is a heart attack, or myocardial infarction.
Ruptured plaques in the brain's arteries causes strokes, with the potential for permanent brain damage. Temporary blockages in an artery can also cause transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). These are warning signs of stroke. However, there is no brain injury.
Peripheral artery disease:
Narrowing in the arteries of the legs caused by plaque. Peripheral artery disease causes poor circulation. This causes pain while walking and poor wound healing. Severe disease may lead to amputations.
Here is a coronary artery disease video for you. Enjoy!
We all believe in the good doctors and the big and powerful pharmaceutical companies. Not now, not after you have watch this video. The best thing is...Don`t be too trusting, be your own judge and decide for yourself what is good for you. Better still seek a second or third opinion. Take charge of your own health and not leave it to the doctors to decide your fate....