Heart Disease

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  • Created on: 29-12-11 13:53
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Aneurysm
An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel that's caused by a weakness in the blood
vessel wall. As the blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, the blood
pressure causes it to bulge outwards like a balloon.
Aneurysm can occur anywhere in the body but the two most common places for
them to form are in the abdominal aorta and the brain
An aneurysm can develop in anyone, but is most often seen in males over 60
who have one or more risk factors.
Aneurysms develop slowly over many years and often have no symptoms.
If an aneurysm expands rapidly, tears open (ruptured aneurysm), or blood leaks
along the wall of the vessel (aortic dissection), symptoms may develop suddenly.
Myocardial infarction ­ commonly known as the heart attack
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a long
enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies.
Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary
arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood
flow is blocked, the heart is starved of oxygen and heart cells die.
As a result of coronary artery disease the arteries become choked with fatty
deposits called plaque over the course of many years. This process is called
atherosclerosis.
Thrombosis (blood clots)
Thrombosis is a blood clot within a blood vessel. It happens when a blood clot forms
and blocks a vein or an artery, obstructing or stopping the flow of blood.
As well as age, a number of other factors make developing blood clots more likely.
They include:
your family history
being inactive for long periods of time
having damaged blood vessels as a result of infection, surgery or
inflammation
having an increased tendency for the blood to clot due to certain medical
conditions or taking the contraceptive pill
Atheroma
Atheroma is a fatty deposit that forms within the wall of an artery. These fatty deposits
are caused by a high level of LDL's and they enlarge to form an irregular patch
(atheromatous plaque).
They are most common in the larger arteries.

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They made up of deposits of cholesterol, fibres and dead muscle cells.
They bulge into the lumen of the artery causing it to narrow so that the blood flow
through it is reduced.
They increase risk of thrombosis and aneurysms.
Over time (months or years), patches of atheroma can become larger and thicker. So, a
patch of atheroma can make an artery narrower, which can restrict and reduce the
blood flow through the artery.…read more

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