Genetic Predisposition Testing for CHD

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease occurs when plaque accumulates in the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle, called coronary arteries.

About Coronary Heart Disease

Plaque is the term used to describe an accumulation of materials, including cholesterol, fat, calcium and other substances. As the accumulation of materials grows, less blood is able to reach the heart muscle, reducing the amount of oxygen available to the heart. As a result the heart does not receive as much oxygen as it needs.

Lack of oxygen to the heart can lead to chest pain, known as angina, or, in severe cases a heart attack. Most cases of heart attacks occur when a blood clot breaks off from the plaque and cuts of the supply of blood to the heart completely, causing permanent damage to the heart. Over time, the accumulation of plaque can cause strain on the heart muscles, the heat muscles weaken and this can lead to heart failure and arrhythmias.

Signs and symptoms of Coronary Heart disease

  • Angina – discomfort or pain in your chest, but also your arms, shoulders, neck or back. This pain tends to worsen with activity and lessen with resting. It’s onset can also be associated with emotional stress.
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of Coronary Heart disease

Coronary heart disease starts when certain factors damage the inner layers of the coronary arteries. These factors include smoking, high amounts of certain fats and cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure and high amounts of sugar in the blood due to insulin-related diseases. Obesity, lack of physical activity, and age also contribute to increasing your risk of developing this disease.

Scientific research has also identified the presence of a genetic component in coronary heart disease, and a high family incidence of this condition is considered to be a risk factor. When damage occurs due to the aforementioned factors, your body starts a healing process. Excess fatty tissues release compounds that promote this process. This healing causes plaque to build up where the arteries are damaged.

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