Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Coronary Artery Disease

To keep itself going, the heart depends on 2 thick main arteries. These arteries branches from the aorta that delivers clean oxygenated blood to both left and right side of the heart. The left coronary artery is bigger than the right one. It is divided into two vessels.

The latter itself is commonly known as artery of sudden death, since the clot near the opening is common. It leads to more complicated heart disease and often critical which is myocardial infarction (heart attack).

These arteries circles around the heart. It supplies blood to the cardiac muscle through smaller veins. The oxygen plays an important role for the efficiency and workload of the cardiac cells. Insufficient amount of oxygen supply to the cardiac cells can lead to heart failure.

The tissue around the heart suffers from poor oxygen which may eventually lead to necrosis (tissue death). The coronary artery disease is the most common form of death in America in relation to cardiovascular disease. According to U.S. Center for Disease Control, 6 out of 10 elderly suffers from this condition and 40% of the total population dies from it.

The common etiology (cause) of coronary heart disease is the obstruction at the artery. It is due to the accumulation of deposited plaque (fatty plaques) that impedes the oxygen and blood supply to the heart. This specific cause of coronary artery disease is medically known as atherosclerosis.

The fatty plaques block the artery which may impair the sufficiency of blood supply to the heart (cardiac cells and muscles). The outcome can lead to sudden chest pain (angina pectoris) which is commonly described as sharp, vise-like pain that strikes the heart. Other people who suffered from this condition often complained of full-blown pain attack due to starving cardiac cells.

Heart attack usually strikes about 1.6 million individual in a year (WHO). Out of this figure, over 600,000 die from it. This is the main reason why coronary artery disease was considered as the twentieth-century epidemic or labeled as the dark plaques of the affluence.

The risk factors of coronary artery disease are: 

  1. High level of Cholesterol (LDL – bad cholesterol);
  2. Obesity (Overweight);
  3. Sedentary Lifestyle (Poor exercise, type-A personality);
  4. High Blood Pressure (More than 140/100 mmHg);
  5. Cigarette Smoking (Nicotine causes constriction of the vessels); and
  6. Endocrine Problem (Diabetes Mellitus) 
The best way to control these identified risk factors can help reduce the risk of people from getting coronary artery disease. 

These include: 

Regular exercises. Ideally, they need to consult your physician regarding the prescribed exercise program. This is to help them identify with the best activities that can best suit their current condition. There are exercises that are not recommended for people with special cases because it can worsen the condition. 

Modify eating pattern. Avoid foods which have high cholesterol and saturated fats. As much as possible, they also need to substitute polyunsaturated veggies or monounsaturated cholesterol. Eat foods with complex carbohydrates. 

They need to undergo periodic tests for the cholesterol level. The desirable cholesterol level should be below 200. They are diagnosed to have borderline high status if the cholesterol level is 200 to 239 and those with more than 240 are diagnosed to have abnormal cholesterol level -By Edterchelle Soriano