Coronary artery disease
“Coronary artery disease is a type of blood vessel disorder that is included in the general category of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is derived from two Greek words: athero, meaning “fatty mush” and skleros, meaning “hard.” Atherosclerosis is often referred to as “hardening of the arteries.” Although this condition can occur in any artery in the body, the atheromas (fatty deposits) have a preference for coronary arteries”(Lewis & Heitkemper et al 2007 pg. 150).
The major risk factors related to coronary artery disease include elevated serum lipid levels, hypertension, tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, a stressful lifestyle, and elevated homocysteine levels. The non-modifiable risk factors include are age/gender( men more then women until 60 years of age), ethnicity (whites more then African Americans), and genetic predisposition and family history of heart disease(Lewis et al 2007). Pathophysiology
Atherosclerosis is the major cause of CAD. It is characterized by a focal deposit of cholesterol and lipids, primarily within the arterial intimal wall. Plaque formation is the result of complex interactions between components of the blood and the elements forming the vascular wall. Inflammation and endothelial injury play a central role in the development of atherosclerosis (Lewis et al 2007). “Coronary artery disease affects the arteries that provide blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the myocardium. When blood flow through the coronary arteries is partially or completely blocked, ischemia and infarction of the myocardium may result. Ischemia occurs when insufficient oxygen is supplied to meet the requirements of the myocardium”(Workman et al 2010). Complications
The three major clinical manifestations of CAD include chronic stable angina, acute coronary syndrome, and sudden cardiac death. These conditions result from myocardial ischemia