Heart Attack and Atherosclerosis Prevention (cont.)
Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.
Dennis Lee, MD
Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is atherosclerosis?
- What are coronary heart diseases (CHD)?
- What is angina pectoris?
- What is a heart attack?
- Ventricular fibrillation
- Heart failure
- What is cerebral vascular disease?
- Ischemic stroke
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- When does the coronary atherosclerosis process begin?
- Have most people done enough to prevent atherosclerosis and heart attacks?
- What are the risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease?
- How can coronary atherosclerosis and heart attacks be prevented?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What are coronary heart diseases (CHD)?
Coronary atherosclerosis refers to the hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries supply the blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. When coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked by atherosclerosis, they cannot deliver an adequate amount of blood to the heart muscle. Disease caused by the lack of blood supply to heart muscle is called coronary heart disease (CHD). Coronary heart diseases include heart attacks, sudden unexpected death, chest pain (angina), abnormal heart rhythms, and heart failure due to weakening of the heart muscle.
What is angina pectoris?
Angina pectoris is chest pain or pressure that occurs when the oxygen supply to the heart muscle cannot keep up with oxygen consumption by the heart muscle. (Oxygen consumption by the heart muscle increases with physical exertion or excitement and decreases with rest and relaxation.) Most commonly, the inadequate supply of oxygen is due to narrowing of the coronary arteries by atherosclerosis. When coronary arteries are narrowed by more than 50% to 70%, the arteries cannot increase the supply of blood to the heart muscle during exertion or other periods of high oxygen demand. An insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina). Chest pain that occurs with exercise or exertion is called exertional angina.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is the death of heart muscle due to the sudden and complete blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot. A coronary artery blockage usually occurs in arteries that contain cholesterol plaques. A plaque can rupture and initiate the formation of a blood clot next to it. A blood clot can completely block blood flow through a coronary artery and deprive the heart muscle of needed nutrients and oxygen. The heart muscle then dies, which produces a heart attack.
Next: Ventricular fibrillation
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