IntroductionCoronary heart disease is fatal and common in the society today. It has been shown to influence the quality of life of those diagnosed or survivors. Some of the quality of life that is related to health includes social activity, physical issues and psychological function. Health care providers thought the emotional aspect would be the main impact on quality of life. However, this was not really the case with patients. Surveys have shown that most patients were more concerned about physical issues, whereas a health professional were more concerned about their psychological function (Warren, 2010). For a diagnosed patient, numerous physical changes would occur. The way how an individual’s body functions would be changed forever as the heart is incompetent of functioning to the best of its ability. The heart is an essential organ that pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body and with the help of lungs, it also filters oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. The heart is an important organ that plays a huge role in our everyday life and is the key organ that is keeping us alive today. Learning about coronary heart disease might let an individual to realise that leading a healthy and active lifestyle is much better than leading a sedentary lifestyle. What is Coronary Heart Disease? The amount of people, men and women, affected by coronary heart disease increases with age. The heart is a muscular organ, made up of cardiac muscles, that pumps blood throughout the body. The circulatory system is composed of a network of vessels, such as veins, arteries and capillaries which transfers blood to and from all areas of the human body. Coronary arteries are located on the surface of the heart and transports oxygen rich blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease, also known as atherosclerosis, is the most common type of heart disease where plaque builds up and narrows the coronary arteries. If coronary arteries are narrowed due to plaque build up, the amount of oxygen rich blood to the heart may decrease (Nordqvist, 2017). Decrease of oxygen rich blood to the heart may lead to shortness of breath (dyspnea), heart attack (myocardial infarction), or even death. An individual might not notice that they have coronary heart disease until a notable blockage or heart attack occurs because the disease progresses over decades. Factors that affect Coronary Heart DiseaseThe development of atherosclerosis may start as early as childhood and it begins by damaging the inner layer of coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis is caused by a variety of factors such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle and diabetes or insulin resistance. Smoking increases blood pressure and destructs the arteries lining, which leads to a build up of atheroma (fatty substances) and narrows the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis may be affected by high cholesterol because too much cholesterol builds up in the arteries wall and narrows the blood flow. Blood pressure is the force in which the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries. Constant high blood pressure for many years are prone to damage arteries, prompting them to harden and narrow. Daily exercises can help the heart to remain in good condition as exercise promotes well-being by increasing circulation, lubricating joints and helps clear the arteries. Increasing age is also one of the risk factors of coronary heart disease because getting older increases the risk of narrowed and damaged arteries. Men usually have a greater risk of coronary heart disease but after menopause, the risk for women increases too. A sedentary lifestyle is defined by a lifestyle with little to no physical activity, and the risk of being affected by atherosclerosis increases. Gradually, blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and blood vessels may be damaged due to high blood glucose from diabetes. With the damaged blood vessels, it might lead to atherosclerosis (Kolber, 2014). Atherosclerosis is a process where plaque made of cholesterol and other waste materials gather at the site, once the inner layer of an artery is destroyed. Once the exterior of the plaque ruptures, platelets (blood clot cells) will cluster themselves at the injury site and attempt to repair the ruptured artery. Clusters formed by platelets are able to cause blockage of the artery, leading to a myocardial infarction (Nordqvist, 2017).Consequences of Coronary Heart DiseaseCoronary heart disease may lead to other issues, such as chest pain (angina), heart attack, heart failure and abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). If coronary arteries are narrowed, the heart might not receive enough blood when doing physical activities, where the demand for blood is largest. This may lead to shortness of breath (dyspnea) or chest pain (angina). When the heart does not have enough oxygen and blood, the cardiac muscle would fail and it will lead to a heart attack. If blot clots, also known as coronary thrombosis, it might be large enough to stop the flow of blood in coronary arteries and will terminate the supply of blood flow to the heart. The outcome of a heart attack may damage the heart muscle immediately, so emergency services should be contacted immediately if it occurs. If certain areas of the heart does not get enough nutrients or oxygen due to decreased blood flow, a heart failure might occur. A heart failure will take place if the heart is too fragile to pump blood to meet the body’s obligation. The heart’s electrical impulses are affected by deficiency of blood to the heart and destroyed heart tissue (“Coronary heart disease”, 2017).DiagnosisSeveral different technologies can be used to diagnose patients in order to determine if one is free from coronary heart disease or not. Medical history, physical exam and a few chest X-rays are the basic tests doctors would do. Other tests, such as angiography, echocardiogram and electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) could also be used. Angiography is an examination where X-ray pictures of coronary arteries and vessels that provides blood to the heart are taken. Angiography is strongly recommended for those who feel chest pain (angina) or those who may suspect themselves with coronary heart disease. Angiography provides doctors with the state of the coronary arteries, like how the blood is flowing back to the heart valves or if there is a pool of blood or cluster of blood in the arteries (“Coronary artery disease”, 2010). An echocardiogram (ECHO) creates a picture of the heart by using sound waves (ultrasound). Echocardiogram provides valuable information to doctors, such as the shape and texture of the heart valve, size of the chambers of the heart and how the condition of how they are working. Echocardiogram is the most suitable test for those who is a heart attack survivor as the heart muscle have been damaged or those who have infections in the heart or heart murmur (“Coronary artery disease”, 2010). Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) measures the electrical impulses of the heart to check if the heart is functioning well or not. Electrical impulse causes the cardiac muscle to compress and pump blood throughout the body. Electrocardiogram is recommended for those experiencing chest pain, palpitations or arrhythmia. Different heart conditions may result from an abnormal electrocardiogram result (“Coronary artery disease”, 2010).PreventionLifestyle habits that prevent coronary heart disease from happening in the first place are also the same lifestyle habits that help treat the disease. Arteries can be cleared of plaques and strong if an individual leads a healthy lifestyle instead of a sedentary one. Maintaining a moderate weight prevents an individual from being overweight and prevents coronary arteries to be filled with plaque. Being physically active and abandoning smoking are able to control a variety of conditions that may cause coronary heart disease, like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol (Rohmann, 2017). A low-fat and low-salt diet, which are full of fruits and vegetables can prevent coronary heart disease before it actually happens. TreatmentCoronary heart disease can also be treated with a variety of medicines. These medicines are able to widen the coronary arteries as well as reducing blood pressure. It is best to consult a doctor before using any heart medicines as it comes with several side effects. If an individual is taking heart medicine and plans to stop, they should consult a doctor first as stopping the medicine halfway may worsen symptoms. A type of heart medicine that thins out blood and prevents it from clotting will lower the risk of heart attack is called antiplatelets. Some examples of antiplatelets heart medicine includes low-dose aspirin, prasugrel or clopidogrel. High cholesterol level can be lowered by prescribed medicine called satins. Some examples of satin medicines include atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and pravastatin. Also, nitrates are able to treat coronary heart disease. Nitrates widen the blood vessels by relaxing them and allowing more blood to pass through them. By widening the blood vessels, nitrates are able to lower blood pressure and alleviate any type of heart pain. Nitrates are available in various forms, like skin patches, tablets or sprays. In the worst case where the symptoms of coronary heart disease cannot be controlled by medications, surgery procedures might be necessary to open up the blocked arteries. Coronary angioplasty, also known as balloon angioplasty, is the emergency treatment when a heart attack occurs. In this procedure, a small balloon is inserted into the narrowed artery in order to compress the fatty deposits outwards. This enables the blood to flow in the arteries more easily. After, a metal mesh is placed inside the artery to hold it open for blood flow. Another way of holding the artery open instead of a metal mesh is to use drug-eluting stents. They are able to release drugs inside the artery to stop it from narrowing again (“Treatment options for coronary artery disease”, 2009).Conclusion Diagnosed individuals would have to limit and decrease their physical activity to reduce the amount of work the heart is doing. Knowing this, those who are diagnosed used to exercise daily would feel depressed as it may be a way for them to de-stress or something they enjoy doing. Depression is more than likely to provoke the condition of the patient, therefore it is important to provide emotional support along with physical care. In addition, the social life of those diagnosed would be greatly impacted (Tomlinson, 2009). For example, those who usually drink alcohol with their friends would have to put a halt on that routine. In brief, the diagnosed patient would have the least amount of social interaction possible. Coronary heart disease also influences the viewpoint of victims and those around them, such as friends and families. Various people that are diagnosed will have entirely different opinions from each other. To some, it might be the worst nightmare ever whereas to others, they might just accept what has happened and continue to live their life to the fullest not knowing what might happen in the future.