The lifeline of the heart, the coronary arteries, stem from the aorta, playing a crucial role in providing oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle - empowering it to pump blood effectively throughout your body. A healthy coronary artery ensures an unhindered flow of this life-sustaining blood. However, the condition known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) compromises this essential process.
CAD is characterised by the narrowing of the coronary arteries due to accumulations of cholesterol-rich deposits, commonly referred to as plaques. This plaque accumulation forms a blockade, restricting the volume of blood that can flow to the heart. The danger of CAD lies in its ability to remain unnoticed until a blood clot happens, triggered by the plaque rupture.
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A heart attack, medically referred to as a Myocardial Infarction, is an alarming event that occurs when there is a sudden blockage of the heart's blood supply. This blockade is often caused by a rupture in cholesterol deposits known as plaques situated in the coronary arteries. The rupture leads to the formation of blood clots, which effectively obstruct the heart's blood supply. This manifests in the form of sudden chest pain, breathing difficulty, and sweating. If the restoration of the blood supply isn't expedited within a few hours, this can result in irreversible damage to the heart muscle, potentially triggering life-threatening heart rhythms at any given time.
Coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease are essentially one and the same. These terms are frequently used interchangeably within medical contexts to describe a similar condition. To be more precise, coronary heart disease is a consequence of coronary artery disease, where obstructions in the artery result in damage to the heart muscle, thereby leading to coronary heart disease.