Coronary heart disease kills over 110,000 people in England every year, not the United Kingdom, just England. This figure shows how serious coronary heart disease can be.
Coronary heart disease, also known as CHD for abbreviation is the build up of atheromatous plaques (otherwise known as Atheroma, or the accumulation of inflamed cells) in the arteries that send blood to the myocardium. The myocardium is the muscle of the heart.
People who have coronary heart disease do not tend to feel the affects of it until the condition has become advanced and really caused damage to the persons body. In many cases coronary heart disease is only found when a person suffers a sudden heart attack.
By the time a heart attack occurs, the athermatous plaques has ruptured causing blood clotting to become activated and the arteries to narrow, this starts reducing the amount of blood flowing to the heart.
When a person does start suffering with coronary heart disease, the symptoms are usually that of angina, which shows in the sign of jaw pain and discomfort (not pain) in the chest.
Unfortunately we cannot prevent the onslaught of coronary heart disease although we can try to combat the disease by trying to live a healthy life style.
Risk Factors for CHD
There are a few risk factors that cause heart disease and naturally occur over time in our life. The first is age; those who are over sixty-five year in age are the most vulnerable and most likely to die of sudden death from coronary heart disease, coronary heart disease is the most common cause of sudden death in people who are older in age.
Because coronary heart disease is one of the major cause of deaths in the western world, there has been a lot of emphasis put on research to find a way of looking into a persons genetic make up to see if they are prone to the development of coronary heart disease.
A research paper from 2006 has stated that a small part of chromosome 17 was found to be associated with those families that have a history of heart problems.
Other recent research has been deemed controversial as some in the medical science agrees with the outcome and others feel it is totally incorrect. This research believes that nano bacteria (micro organisms below 200 nanometers in diameter) is the link between atherosclerosis, which is a disease that is commonly called Ã¢â‚¬Å“furred arteriesÃ¢â‚¬Â, and coronary heart disease. The reason why this research is seen as controversial is because the most advanced modern technology cannot find a link, and cannot view nano bacteria of this size.
Research will carry on as there is a lot of importance put on finding a cure, if not an early warning sign to reduce the huge amount of deaths this disease causes every year.
Stem cell research shows a lot of promise for application to the heart. As mentioned on the University of Minnesota Gene Pool blog, one research team has shown it is possible to
- “successfully decellularize and regenerate heart muscles such that the individual is not only able to compensate for damaged tissues, but is able to repair the injury and return to essentially new organs. In fact, she has shown that the entire organ can be regenerated with healthy functioning cells.”
Exciting promise for the future, indeed.
If you ever feel a tightness or discomfort in your chest this is your bodies way of telling you there is something wrong, it is important that you seek medical advice straight away as this can mean the difference between life and death.