Coronary heart disease (CHD) goes beyond just plaque in the arteries. Although atherosclerosis is the most well-known kind, this long-term condition includes a number of problems that affect blood flow to the heart, leading to almost 7 million deaths annually. It's essential to understand these different types and recognize symptoms early on for effective prevention.

What Are The Three Main Types of Coronary Heart Disease?

Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (OCAD)

Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (OCAD)

This kind is the most common and well-understood, characterized by gradual narrowing of coronary arteries due to plaque deposition. Understanding how it advances is important because it results in chest discomfort (angina) and, if blocked, a heart attack which calls for immediate medical treatment.

Non-Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (NOCAD)

Unlike obstructive cases, nonobstructive CHD is not caused by plaque buildup. Instead, issues such as myocardial bridging, coronary vasospasm, endothelial dysfunction, and microvascular dysfunction contribute to its development, as briefly defined below:

Myocardial Bridging: An artery is compressed by a heart muscle

Coronary Vasospasm: Improper narrowing of arteries

Endothelial Dysfunction: Damage to the artery lining

Microvascular Dysfunction: Malfunctions in small artery branches

Nonobstructive coronary artery disease can cause symptoms like chest discomfort and shortness of breath, often resulting in angina, and is more common in women, despite its potential to affect anyone.

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

SCAD is caused by a sudden rip in the coronary artery wall, which causes partial or total blood flow restriction. Its symptoms frequently resemble those of a heart attack, stressing the importance of quick medical intervention.

Recognizing and Addressing Symptoms

Recognizing symptoms of CHD, including chest pain and heart attack indicators, is important. Immediate medical consultation is recommended to reduce potential damage. Additionally, individuals aged 45 and above are encouraged to schedule a Heart Health Check with their doctor to assess their risk of developing CHD.

Hence, this summary aims to make CHD clearer, prompt early recognition, and support taking steps to lessen its impact.