Coronary Heart Disease
Also known as Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Microvascular Disease, Coronary Syndrome X, Ischemic Heart Disease, Nonobstructive Coronary Artery Disease, Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease
Heart disease is a catch-all phrase for a variety of conditions that affect the heart’s structure and function. Coronary heart disease is a type of heart disease that develops when the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Coronary heart disease is often caused by the buildup of plaque, a waxy substance, inside the lining of larger coronary arteries. This buildup can partially or totally block blood flow in the large arteries of the heart. Some types of this condition may be caused by disease or injury affecting how the arteries work in the heart. Coronary microvascular disease is another type of coronary heart disease. It occurs when the heart’s tiny blood vessels do not work normally.
Symptoms of coronary heart disease may be different from person to person even if they have the same type of coronary heart disease. However, because many people have no symptoms, they do not know they have coronary heart disease until they have chest pain, a heart attack, or sudden cardiac arrest.
If you have coronary heart disease, your doctor will recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes, medicines, surgery, or a combination of these approaches to treat your condition and prevent complications.
Explore this Health Topic to learn more about coronary heart disease, our role in research and clinical trials to improve health, and where to find more information.