What is Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to a buildup of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. As plaque continues to buildup in the arteries, blood flow to the heart is reduced.
Heart disease can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes totally blocked with plaque, preventing vital oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. A heart attack can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle.
Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. Other cardiovascular diseases include
- high blood pressure
- rheumatic heart disease
Heart disease is a lifelong condition—once you get it, you’ll always have it. True, procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty can help blood and oxygen flow to the heart more easily. But the arteries remain damaged. The condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits.
Many women die of complications from heart disease or become permanently disabled. That’s why it is so vital to take action to prevent and control this disease.
In addition to the symptoms women may feel, we need to pay attention to the major risk factors for heart disease.