Heart disease is second only to cancer as the most common cause of death among Thai people. Heart disease comes in many forms. The most frequent conditions include coronary heart disease, myocardial infarctions, arrhythmia and sudden cardiac arrest. The factors which lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease include factors which can and factors which cannot be managed.
occurs as a result of fat and plaque buildup within blood vessels until it reaches the point where it causes a blockage. The subsequent restriction then leads to a lack of blood flow to the heart. The condition is categorized into the two following forms:
This condition carries with it a high risk of death if the patient does not receive emergent medical attention. Patients may experience symptoms such as a tightness in the sternum area of the chest, with these symptoms becoming increasingly severe, even when not exerting energy. Patients may also have heart palpitations, perspire profusely and experience difficulty breathing. The lack of blood flow to the heart can result in disability or death, depending on the severity and length of time that the blockage occurs. For this reason, it is essential that medical attention be sought as soon as the symptoms present themselves, so that doctors may open up the blocked artery using coronary stenting.
Patients with this form of coronary artery disease will suffer from symptoms which come and go, usually occurring in conjunction with exercise, for example when walking or ascending stairs. Sufferers may experience a tightness in the sternum area of the chest that tends to go away when they sit down to rest. The condition may sometimes cause a referred pain to the left shoulder that spreads to the jaw. If such symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought urgently..
If you suspect that you may be at risk of coronary artery disease, or you have a family history of coronary artery disease being diagnosed from an early age, you should come in for an appointment with a doctor who will carry out a risk analysis and refer you to a specialist in the field for advice on your next steps. Just following these few simple steps can help reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
The Second Class Honors M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. Faculty of Medicine Chulalongkorn University , 1996