Coronary Artery Disease Is The Most Common Type Of Heart Disease

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Coronary Artery Disease
Kyle Chen, CSUN Nursing Student
NURS 302 – Pathophysiology
Professor Gelardi DNP, RNC, NNP, CPNP, CCNS
California State University, Northridge
August 3, 2015

Definition of Disease:
Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the #1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States resulting in about 375,000 deaths a year. (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2014). This disease refers to “any vascular disorder that arrows or occludes the coronary arteries leading to myocardial ischemia” (Huether & McCane, 2012). It occurs when the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart becomes hardened and narrowed. Also, factors such as smoking, high levels of fat & cholesterol in the blood, hypertension, high levels of sugar in the blood, and blood vessel inflammation damage the inner layers of the coronary arteries. “This disease is prevalent in younger and elderly individuals. Coronary artery calcium is highly predicative of coronary heart disease event risk across all age groups” (Tota-Maharaj et al, 2014). Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits, or plaque, in the inner walls of the coronary arteries in a process called atherosclerosis. Normally, the coronary arteries are smooth and elastic, lined with a layer of cells called the endothelium. The endothelium acts as a physical barrier between the blood stream and the coronary artery walls.

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