Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ischaemic heart disease is epidemic within western cultures Essay

Ischaemic heart disease is epidemic within western cultures - Essay Example The heart consists of 4 chambers: an atrium and a ventricle on the right, and an atrium and a ventricle on the left. Blood returning to the heart from veins all over the body flows into the right atrium, then blood flows into the right ventricle which pumps it out to the lungs for oxygenation of the blood. This oxygenated blood returns to the left atrium and then flows into the left ventricle, which pumps it at high pressure into the arteries, including the coronary arteries. The strength of the heart muscle (myocardium) depends on the oxygen and nutrient supply coming via the coronary arteries. The walls of these arteries are strong, elastic and flexible. The myocardium is supplied by 3 major coronary arteries. Two of them arise from a common stem, called left coronary artery which supplies the left side of the heart. Its left anterior descending (LAD) branch supplies the front part of the heart, while the left circumflex (LCX) branch supplies the left lateral and back side of the heart. The right coronary artery (RCA) is separate and supplies the right and the bottom parts of the heart. [2] The inner lining layer of the coronary arteries is quite smooth allowing blood to flow easily. With aging, cholesterol and calcium content in the walls of the coronary arteries increases, making them thickened and less elastic. The prolonged effect of risk factors with the consequence of aging, endothelial dysfunction becomes predominant, especially in the coronary arteries. Unhealthy habits, such as a diet rich in cholesterol and other fats, smoking and lack of physical activity accelerate the deposit of cholesterol, fatty compounds, calcium, and a blood clotting material called fibrin within the inner lining of coronary arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The deposits, or plaques, may increase in size and block the arteries. If blockage is partial it causes chest pain

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