Despite significant advancements in the medicine for Australians in recent decades, heart diseases and diseases of the arteries, arterioles, and capillaries remain one of the leading causes of illness, disability, and premature death. Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) in particular affects one in six Australians and accounts for a larger portion of deaths (almost 35%) than any other disease group.
What is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)?
Coronary heart disease (CHD) also referred to as coronary artery disease (CAD) or ischaemic heart disease develops when the coronary arteries which carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart become damaged, narrowed, diseased, or blocked.
A healthy heart pumps approximately 3000 gallons of nutrient-rich blood through these arteries to different parts of the body every day. In order to carry out its work, the heart needs an adequate and dependable supply of fresh nutrient-rich blood. Reduced blood flow to the heart will not only make it weak; it will also greatly compromise its ability to pump enough blood to other parts of the body. This can create all sorts of health problems which can be detrimental at times.
Risk Factors | What is Coronary Heart Disease
A thorough understanding of the risk factors is essential to help prevent or decrease the likelihood of developing CHD. Here are some common risk factors that contribute to the development of coronary heart disease:
- tobacco smoking
- high blood pressure
- diabetes mellitus
- high blood cholesterol levels
- unhealthy eating
- excessive alcohol consumption
How to Keep Your Heart Healthy | What is Coronary Heart Disease
The best way to keep your heart healthy and minimise the chances of developing coronary heart disease is to control or reduce the risk factors. Some ways to keep your heart healthy and reduce your CHD risk are:
- eat a heart-healthy and balanced diet
- keep to a healthy weight
- be more physically active
- quit smoking
- reduce alcohol consumption
- keep your blood pressure under control
- keep your diabetes under control
- get enough quality sleep
- manage stress
Southgate Medical Centre
What is Coronary Heart Disease