Encyclopedia > Coronary heart disease

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Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) may be caused by inflamation of the lining of the arteries which may allow cholesterol plaques[?] (caused by the build of up of cholesterol) that either cause an intrinsic limitation in blood flow to the heart or a functional limitation of blood flow to the heart. In the latter case this is known as angina: the process is known as coronary atherosclerosis.

Limitation of blood flow to the heart causes ischemia (cell starvation secondary to a lack of oxygen) of the myocardial cells. When myocardial cells die from lack of oxygen, this is called a myocardial infarction (a heart attack), and leads to heart muscle damage and later scarring. This can also result from a sudden occlusion of a coronary artery when the plaque ruptures and a blood clot fills the lumen of the artery.

Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease in the Western world.

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