Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death among Americans. An estimated 13 million people are affected by CHD. The disease affects nearly every part of the body. Organ failure and even death can occur due to a lack of oxygen in the blood caused by CHD.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a condition that disrupts the smooth flow of blood to the heart. A sticky substance (plaque) begins to build up in the arteries, restricting their normal function.
The reduced blood flow causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. A person may experience chest pain or tightness with CHD. A heart attack can result.
Because the heart pumps blood throughout the body, other organs such as the kidneys can be negatively affected by CHD. However, the arteries and heart are the most commonly damaged parts of the body.
CHD causes a hardening of the arteries that begins in childhood. The hardening is caused by a combination of fatty materials, cholesterol and other minerals building up in the artery wall.
Eating healthful, low-fat foods can reduce the risk of serious effects of CHD. If you smoke, talk to your health care professional about quitting.