Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic Heart Disease, also known as coronary heart disease has drawn significant attention worldwide. According to NHS (2012), Coronary heart disease is killing 80,000 people each year in UK. Ischemic Heart Disease is a condition where blood supply is reduced to the heart, commonly when fatty deposits build up in the linings of the coronary arteries. Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscles. Narrowing of coronary arteries causes coronary heart diseases leading to heart attack (AHA, 2012; IHD, 2010).

Smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, age and hypertension are identified risk factors. According to British Heart Foundation (BHF) (n.d.), smokers have double risk of coronary heart disease than non-smokers, low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood increases the risk of heart diseases and higher risks are associated with older ages.

The prevalence of heart diseases and its effects are different among male and female. Wake and Yoshiyama (2009) discussed on the gender differences in coronary artery disease, female having lower risk than man until the age of 70 and men have more sudden coronary deaths and plaque rupture than women. Risk factors such as smoking and cholesterol have more impacts in women than men. A study conducted by Castanho et. al., (2001) found that women mortality rate  due to coronary heart disease increased from 10 to 25% from the sixties to the seventies of their age, women have more complications from hypertension than men and tobacco use triples the risk of heart attack in women in Brazil.

The most common symptom is chest pain, known as angina pectoris. Angina is caused by partial blockage of coronary arteries whereas complete blockage of arteries causes heart attacks (NHS, 2012). Patient may experience acute chest pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating and anxiety. Electrocardiogram, MRI, X-ray, CT scan and coronary angiography are diagnostics tests to identify heart disease (IHD, 2010; NHS, 2012).Healthy nutrition, physical activity, avoiding tobacco, blood cholesterol and sugar level reduction are possible pathways to prevent Ischemic heart disease (BHF, n.d.; NHS, 2012).



American Heart Association (AHA) (2012) Silent Ischemia and Ischemic Heart Disease. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 12 March 2013].

British Heart Foundation (BHF) (n.d.) Risk Factors [Online] Available at [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

Castanho, V.S., Oliveira, L.S., Pinheiro, H.P., Oliveira, H. CF. , Faria, E.C (2001) Sex Difference in Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease: A Study in a Brazilian Population. Bio Medical Central Public Health.

Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) (2010) Ischemic Heart Disease [Online] Available at [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

National Health Service (NHS) (2012) Coronary Heart Disease [Online] Available at [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

Wake, R. and Yoshiyama, M. (2009) Gender Differences in Ischemic Heart Disease. Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery. Vol 4, 234-240.


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