Does Lifestyle Affect the Development of Coronary Heart Disease?

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Artery Pages: 4 (1402 words) Published: April 21, 2007
Does Lifestyle Affect the Development of Coronary Heart Disease?

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) otherwise known as Ischemic and Atherosclerotic Heart Disease is the result of a variety of factors such as the build up of fatty materials, calcium, and athermanous plaque within the walls of the arteries that acts as the supply for the myocardium of blood. The arteries supplying the heart are divided into three different parts, the 'inner layer' which is elastic and made up of Squamous Epithelium cells. Also, a 'middle layer' made up of connective tissue and smooth muscle, and an 'outer layer' made of connective tissues. In CHD, the endothelium layer becomes damaged, constituted by a variety of lifestyle and genetic deficiencies, and results in a build up of cholesterol in the middle layer of connective and muscle tissue. As a result, these cells become known as 'foam' cells that swell within the cholesterol - thus narrowing the lumen. This is known as an 'arthroma' or 'atherosclerosis' of the lumen, where lipoproteins from the blood have accumulated to form a mass of fat swollen cells in the endothelium. ‘If coronary artery becomes blocked, the cardiac muscle that it supplies will become short of essential nutrients and contract irregularly '. This arthroma pushes the endothelium lumen, and becomes known as a 'plaque' which can seriously narrow the lumen. A plaque is basically an area of muscle cells and fibers, where the narrowing of the lumen results in the reduction of blood to the myocardium, and can induce strains of angina - a form of ischemia. If large areas of the heart are ischemic, then this causes the irregularity of systole and diastole of the heart. This, therefore constituting a reduction of oxygen to the myocardium can induce far more dire consequences upon the heart, where in critical scenarios a myocardial infarction or sudden cardiac arrest could ultimately follow. If plaques are overly large, it is possible for part of the plaque to break off,...

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