Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
Angina is chest pain or discomfort that most often occurs when you do certain activities or feel stressed. It is caused by poor blood flow through the blood vessels of the heart muscle.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, your doctor may advise you to keep your:
Some of the risk factors for heart disease that you CAN control are:
Good nutrition is important to your heart health, and it will help control some of your risk factors for heart disease.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat CHD, high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. These may include:
To reduce your risk of a heart attack, your doctor may also advise you to take aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or prasugrel (Effient) every day. Follow your doctor's directions carefully to keep heart disease and angina from getting worse.
Always talk with your doctor before you stop taking any of your medicines. Stopping these drugs suddenly or changing your dose can make your angina worse or cause a heart attack.
Create a plan with your doctor for managing your angina. Your plan should include:
Know what can make your angina worse, and try to avoid these things. For example, some people find that cold weather, exercising, eating large meals, or getting upset or stressed worsens their angina.
Gaziano JM, Ridker PM, Libby P. Primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease .In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: ATextbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 49.
Mosca L, Benjamin EJ, Berra K, et al. Effectiveness-Based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women--2011 Update: a guideline from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123(11);1243-1262.
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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