Synonyms in a broader sense
Ischemic heart disease, coronary artery stenosis, angina pectoris, coronary syndrome, chest tightness, left pectoral chest painHypertension, heart attack
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a condition in which the coronary arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle are narrowed. The blood flow in the coronaries is reduced, so that the heart is less well supplied. The most common cause of coronary heart disease in industrialized countries is atherosclerosis (so-called arteriosclerosis) of the coronary arteries.
The walls of the vessels harden, the vessel loses elasticity and the vessel diameter decreases. The restriction of blood flow leads to coronary insufficiency, i.e. the coronary vessels can no longer meet the heart’s oxygen demand; there is a mismatch between the oxygen supply and demand of the heart muscle, resulting in myocardial ischemia, i.e. a deficiency or reduced oxygen supply to the heart.
Frequency of CHD and incidence in the population
Coronary heart disease and its consequences are the most common cause of death in western industrialized countries. The lifetime probability of contracting CHD is 30% for men and 15% for women. Chest pain (angina pectoris) or a heart attack are often the first symptoms of coronary artery narrowing.
Coronary artery disease is a multicausal disease process. This means that the development of the disease is caused by various factors. The so-called cardiovascular risk factors play an important role.
Smoking, overweight, diabetes mellitus and high blood lipid levels increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Calcification of the arteries (this is known as arteriosclerosis) is considered the main cause of the disease. Finally, coronary heart disease causes a narrowing of the arteries.
Coronary arteries are blood vessels that lie around the heart like a wreath and supply it with oxygen. The narrowing of the heart walls is caused by deposits of fat and calcium, the so-called plaques. Due to these narrowings, the affected parts of the heart can no longer be supplied with sufficient oxygen.
This is often particularly pronounced under physical stress and causes symptoms. Smoking Little exercise Unhealthy diet Overweight Permanently elevated blood lipid values (especially elevated LDL cholesterol and lowered HDL cholesterol) Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) High blood pressure (arterial hypertension) Stress, emotional strain Increased age Hereditary predisposition to arteriosclerosis
- Little movement
- Unhealthy nutrition
- Permanently elevated blood lipid values (especially elevated LDL cholesterol and lowered HDL cholesterol)
- Diabetes mellitus
- High blood pressure (arterial hypertension)
- Stress, emotional strain
- Increased age
- Hereditary predisposition to hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
Alcohol consumption is generally not prohibited in cases of coronary heart disease. Moderate consumption of 1 to 2 glasses of wine or beer occasionally is compatible with the disease.
Increased consumption of alcohol does not lead directly to a heart attack, but is nevertheless unhealthy. Alcohol promotes the development of overweight and has an influence on some medications. Some scientists recommend an occasional consumption of alcohol, as it reduces the cardiovascular risk. One speaks of 25 grams with the man and 15 grams with the woman on the day, whereby by no means each day should be drunk.