Function: To carry blood around the body to transport oxygen to cells and get rid of waste (CO2).
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- When one or more arteries talking blood to the heart muscle become blocked or narrowed by plaques.
- Causes less oxygen to get to the heart muscle, and so it will die.
- Atherosclerosis (a build-up of cholesterol over plaque) narrows arteries further.
- If the blood cells start to stick together they will form a blockage and cause a heart attack.
- Genetics/family history.
- More likely to affect males.
- Lifestyle choices : smoking, alcohol
- Fat intake: high amounts of saturated and animal fats.
- Obesity: diet/inactivity.
- Cheapest and least invasive first
- GP will listen to heartbeat for the rhythm.
- Check blood pressure: GP checks the pressure on the artery wall as the heart contracts. The average for young adult is 120/80.
- Blood test to check levels of cholesterol.
- Refer to hospital for:
- X Ray: to rule out any other conditions
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): measures the electrical impulse from the pacemaker (sinoatrial node) that causes the heart to contract.
- Echocardiography: Ultrasound of the heart that shows the valves and the flow of blood.
- Coronary Angiography: Injection of fluid is given to flow through the vessels and it will show these vessels on an x-ray. E.g. any narrowing.
- CT scan (computer tomography): Will show ‘slices’ of the heart on the scan.
- MRI scan (Magnetic resonance imaging): Clear picture of the heart and blood vessels.