Ischemic Heart Disease, also known as Coronary Artery Disease, is a condition that affects the supply of blood to the heart. The blood vessels are narrowed or blocked due to the deposition of cholesterol on their walls. This reduces the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscles, which is essential for proper functioning of the heart. This may eventually result in a portion of the heart being suddenly deprived of its blood supply leading to the death of that area of heart tissue, resulting in a heart attack.
The most important determinant of cardiovascular health is a person's age. By 2030, approximately 20% of the population will be aged 65 or older. In this age group, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) will result in 40% of all deaths and rank as the leading cause. Furthermore, the cost to treat cardiovascular disease will triple in that time. The most frequent manifestations of IHD are angina (chest pain associated with physical activity) and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). Heart attack results from sudden stoppage of blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to the heart (coronary artery). As a result parts of the heart muscles die out or are lost permanently. Angina is a milder and reversible form of heart attack. Ischaemic heart disease is the result of a process of narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis), a disease in which cholesterol (fat in blood) gets deposited inside the walls. This process of atherosclerosis affects the blood vessels of the brain leading to stroke and the limb vessels leading to gangrene.
CAUSES OF ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE
- The major risk factors are smoking, diabetes mellitus and cholesterol levels.
- Those with Hypercholesterolemia have a much higher tendency to develop the disease.
- Hypertension is also a risk factor in the development of Ischemic Heart Disease
- Genetic and hereditary factors may also be responsible for the disease.
- Stress is also thought to be a risk factor.
- Avoiding foods rich in saturated fats is important to reduce lipid levels in the blood and to prevent arteriosclerosis.
- Adequate regular exercise is also essential.
- Cholesterol and hypertension should be kept under good control with proper treatment.
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Keep blood pressure under control
- Keep diabetes under control
- Be regular in taking medicines