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Coronary Artery Disease - Research Paper Example

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Coronary Artery Disease Overview of the Disease: Coronary artery disease happens to be the most significant cause of death of people in United States. According to the records maintained by the American Heart Association, number of people in US that have some form of coronary artery disease is more than 15 million (The New York Times, 2011)…
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Coronary Artery Disease
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Download file to see previous pages Common causes of coronary artery disease are diabetes, high level of bad cholesterol, low level of good cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, menopause, lack of sufficient exercise and smoking. Causes of Coronary Artery Disease: The most common cause of coronary artery disease is a condition known as atherosclerosis. In this condition, the walls of arteries start to thicken with the deposition of fatty material and plaque. The building up of plaque along the internal wall of arteries causes them to become narrow. The narrowing of coronary arteries slows down the flow of blood to the heart. As a result of this, the patient feels pain in the chest and may have a heart attack. Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease: In both men and women, discomfort or chest pain is the most obvious symptom of coronary artery disease. However, the symptoms are more varied in women as compared to men. Women may suffer from shortness of breath, pain in jaw or back, and nausea. Some patients are too unfortunate to seek help in time because in their cases, heart attack comes as the first and only symptom of the coronary artery disease. People, for whom heart attack is the first symptom of coronary artery disease often have insufficient flow of blood to the heart muscle. This condition is known as silent ischemia. The heart attack to such patients is also known as “silent heart attack” (WebMD, 2011). Coronary artery disease most commonly shows up in the chest pain. This is referred to as Angina. Angina shows up in heaviness, feeling of pressure, discomfort, tightness, weight, squeezing, or the feeling of burning in the chest. In order to describe the pain, most patients put their fist onto the chest. However, the patient can not exactly locate the region of pain. The chest pain is mild in the start, but becomes intense in a matter of minutes. Although it starts in the chest, Angina gradually spreads to various other parts of the body including left arm, lower jaw, neck, left shoulder, mid-back, or lower region of the right arm. Angina may cause numbness in one or more of these organs. Angina is fundamentally instigated by activities that cause the heart to do intense work. While doing more work, the heart needs increased supply of oxygen than the narrowed arteries usually do. Such activities include but are not limited to use of amphetamines or cocaine, smoking, heavy meal, strenuous exercise, or sudden emotions of fear, anger, or emotional distress. The chest pain is of two types as discussed below: 1. Atypical chest pain – is sharp and quick. It occurs and goes. The patient may feel pain in the left side of the chest, back, arm, or abdomen. This type of pain is not related to exercise, and is also not relieved by medicines or rest. This type of chest pain is more common among women than men. 2. Typical chest pain – makes one feel heavy. The patient feels like someone is squeezing him/her. It is mostly felt under sternum i.e. the breast bone. Typical chest pain occurs with emotion or activity. Adequate rest helps relieve the pain. A medicine called nitroglycerin also helps relieve the pain. In a vast majority of cases, women seek clinical help later as compared to men. Women tend not to bother others or tend to ignore the pain until it becomes unbearably severe. However, to be safe is better than to be sorry. Therefore, medical help should be taken whenever the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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