What are the symptoms of coronary heart disease?
Coronary heart disease progresses slowly in many people and symptoms, may be unclear and including weakness, fatigue, and mild shortness of breath during exercise. There will be no signs at all sometimes until the person has a major heart attack or blockage.
Symptoms in others depend on how much the plaque narrows the artery (or arteries) and reduces blood flow. During times of stress or when the heart beats fast, such as during physical activity, signs may be more apparent.
Symptoms may include:
Chest pain or tightness (angina), usually in the middle or left side of the chest. so pain usually resolves within minutes of stopping stressful activity. In women, pain may be felt more like floating or sharp pain in the neck, arm or back.
Shortness of breath or extreme tiredness with exertion
Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmia)
A heart attack that can be felt like a crushing pressure in the chest that radiates up your neck or down your arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating. so symptoms of heart attack in women may be more subtle and more likely to include indigestion, dizziness or nausea, or discomfort between the shoulder blades, in addition to chest pressure.
Who is most likely to develop coronary heart disease?
The following factors increase the risk of developing a person with coronary artery disease:
As you age, your arteries become narrower and stiffer.
In general, males are at higher risk of coronary artery disease; however, women are at higher risk after menopause.
Family history :
people with a close relative with a history of coronary artery disease are at higher risk of developing coronary artery disease themselves, especially if they occur at a younger age (such as a father / brother with a heart disease before age 55, or a mother / sister before age 65).
High blood pressure:
if left uncontrolled or untreated, so high blood pressure
may cause hardening and thickening of the arteries, making it more difficult for blood to flow through high cholesterol levels: particularly high levels of LDL cholesterol may increase plaque formation and low levels of HDL cholesterol may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
Usually, individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight and have high blood pressure
Excess weight increases the likelihood of other risk factors
Smoking or persistent exposure to second-hand smoke
Unhealthy eating : diets rich in salt, trans fat or saturated fat, and sugar increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Having one risk factor may lead to the development of other risk factors, for example, being obese increases your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. People with a particular cluster of risk factors, i.e. increased blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL, reduced insulin response, and excess body fat around the waist, known as metabolic syndrome, have a particularly high risk of coronary heart disease.
Other possible risk factors include:
Sleep apnea :
sudden drops in blood oxygen levels occurring during sleep apnea strain of the cardiovascular system, possibly leading to coronary artery disease.
High sensitivity C-reactive protein
: this is a marker for inflammation and may be a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
High triglycerides :
these are a type of fat and are associated with a higher risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.
This is an amino acid that will increase your risk of coronary artery disease by using high levels of protein
building and tissue building.
This is a disorder that may worsen in pregnancy due to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
Excessive alcohol use :
This may lead to muscle damage and may worsen other risk factors for coronary artery disease.Presence of autoimmune diseases (eg, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus).
How is coronary heart disease diagnosed?
If you and your doctor think you may have coronary heart disease, a thorough physical assessment will be carried out. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, listen to your heart, and ask you about any risk factors or family history of coronary heart disease.
Other tests may also be conducted, such as:
Blood tests to check your levels of electrolytes, blood cells, clotting factors and hormones, specific enzymes and proteins that may indicate problems with your heart.
An electrocardiogram (ECG): Different types of ECG test for different things. The resting ECG records the electrical activity of the heart at rest and may show changes that indicate that the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen. So ECG / Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) exercise evaluates the heart's response to exercise and stress and involves walking on a treadmill or exercise bike for up to 12 minutes at varying degrees of speed and incline under the supervision of a doctor and an ECG technician.