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Research into Coronary Heart Disease

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Introduction

Coronary Heart Disease by Siobhán Buckley What is Coronary Heart Disease? Coronary heart disease is a condition where fatty deposits and cell-proliferation build-up in the arteries supplying the heart muscle. These plaques form commonly in a condition called atherosclerosis. It is the most common form of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is most common in males and older people. It is a narrowing of the blood vessels (coronary arteries) that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease is a major cause of illness and death. Coronary heart disease is generally caused by atherosclerosis - when plaque (cholesterol substances) build up on the artery walls, causing them to narrow, resulting in less blood flow to the heart. Sometimes a clot may form which can block the flow of blood to heart muscle. Coronary heart disease commonly causes angina pectoris (chest pain), shortness of breath, heart attack (myocardial infarction) and other symptoms. About the Heart: the heart is a human fist-sized muscle that beats about 70 times per minute and pumps oxygen-rich blood around the body. After leaving the heart, blood goes to the lungs where it gathers oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood returns to the heart (from the lungs) and is pumped to organs throughout the body through arteries. The blood returns to the heart through veins and is pumped to the lungs again. This whole process is called circulation. Coronary arteries are the heart's own network of blood vessels; they exist on the surface of the heart - they supply the heart muscle with oxygen. ...read more.

Middle

Often it is a constant pain, but it can come and go. Patients describe the pain as one of pressure, something squeezing. The pain can last from a few minutes to many hours. People with diabetes, and/or those over the age of 75 may experience a "silent heart attack". This is one that occurs with no pain at all. Diagnosing Coronary Heart Disease The doctor will probably ask the patient questions about their medical history, symptoms and carry out a physical examination. One or some of the following diagnostic tests may also be ordered: 1. ECG (electrocardiogram) - this device records the electrical activity and rhythms of the patient's heart. Electrodes are attached to the patient's skin and impulses are recorded as waves are displayed on a screen (or printed on paper). The test may also reveal any damage to the heart from a heart attack. 2. A Holter monitor - the patient wears a portable device which records all his/her heartbeats. It is worn under the clothing and records information about the electrical activity of the heart while the patient goes about his/her normal activities for one or two days. It has a button which can be pressed if symptoms are felt - then the doctor can see what heart rhythms were present at that moment. Some abnormalities may indicate a problem with blood flow. 3. An echocardiogram - this is an ultrasound scan that checks the pumping action of the patient's heart. ...read more.

Conclusion

2. Coronary bypass surgery - in this surgical procedure the surgeon creates a graft to bypass the blocked artery by using a vessel from another part of the body; the bypass graft can be a vein from the leg or an inner chest-wall artery. The blood, effective flows around the blocked/narrowed coronary artery. This procedure is usually done only when the patient has several blocked/narrowed arteries. Put simply, a small length of vein tubing is taken from one part of the body, one end of it is attached to just before the blockage, while the other end is attached to just after the blockage - the blood then effectively bypasses the blockage. 3. Heart transplant - in some rare cases, if the heart is badly damaged and the patient is not responding well enough to treatment, the doctor may recommend a heart transplant. This involves replacing the damaged heart with a healthy donor one. 4. Laser surgery - the surgeon makes several tiny holes in the heart muscle. These encourage the formation of new blood vessels to grow in the affected heart muscle. Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease If you can keep your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels low and your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels high, your risk of developing coronary heart disease is significantly lower (than someone who can't). The following lifestyle measures can help: 1. Be physically active 2. Consume alcohol in moderation or not at all 3. Do not smoke 4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet 5. Keep your blood pressure under control 6. Keep your diabetes under control 7. Maintain a healthy body weight 8. Reduce/control emotional and mental stress ...read more.

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4 star(s)

A well-presented piece of work looking at coronary heart disease. The writing style was excellent, allowing the reader to easily follow the points the writer was making. The work is very detailed which is good, but this should be reflected with some evidence of where the information has come from. List the books and websites used. There were a few instances of comments that needed further explanation, see annotations on the work.
Nevertheless a very good effort.
4/5

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 09/08/2013

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