Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the buildup of plaque within the heart’s arteries, which causes a decrease in blood flow. When a coronary artery becomes fully blocked and blood flow has stopped, a heart attack results. As you may know, heart attacks may permanently damage the heart muscle.
Risk factors for CHD include: high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, diabetes, smoking, obesity, being post-menopausal for women and being older than 45 for men. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing CHD.
CHD and heart attacks are preventable. Living a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, stress reduction, weight management and physical activity is key. CHD may begin in childhood, and initial plaque buildup may be detected as early as the teenage years.
According to the National Institute of Health, common symptoms of coronary heart disease include shortness of breath and angina (pain or a feeling of increased pressure in the chest). Less common symptoms include nausea, sweating, fatigue, dizziness and decreased exercise tolerance.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
If you would like to make an appointment to be evaluated for coronary heart disease by an interventional cardiologist, please call HealthConnection at 404-778-7777.
For heart-healthy recipe ideas, click here.
About Dr. Chang
George Chang MD, FACC is a board certified interventional cardiologist practicing at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (ESJH). He has been at ESJH since 1999 and is currently serving as Chief of Physician Services for Emory Clinic at Emory Saint Joseph’s. He completed his undergraduate studies at Baylor University and Cardiovascular Fellowship at Emory University. He has an appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.