South Edmonton Cardiology Consultants
#306, Millwoods Town Centre Prof Bldg (6203 28Ave NW), Edmonton AB T6L 6K3
PHONE : (780) 757-1371 FAX : (780) 784-1371
Disclaimer: The brief patient information supplied here and the outside links provided are not intended to replace the advice of your physician and are only meant to help guide patients to formulate questions during their physician appointments. Each patient's situation is unique and a large number of factors are considered when arriving at a management plan for your specific condition.
Coronary Artery Disease and Stable Angina
The heart is a living muscle and it requires a constant supply of oxygen (supplied by blood in the heart's arteries, called coronary arteries) to function. Coronary artery disease is present when the blood flow to the heart muscle is impaired due to narrowing in the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart (coronary arteries). These narrowings are most often due to the process of hardening of the arteries, which is termed "atherosclerosis".
Atherosclerosis is often evident on a microscopic level in early adulthood and is attributed to many different factors including age, family history/genetics, high blood pressure, abnormal blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, diet, psychosocial stress and lack of regular physical exercise. These narrowings (also called coronary stenoses) often develop slowly over time due to a buildup of cholesterol and scar under the inner surface of the blood vessel itself. If a narrowing gradually becomes severe enough to impair blood flow to the heart muscle, then angina may result. Angina is classically described as a discomfort or pressure in the chest which comes on with exercise and is relieved (within minutes) by rest, but patients may experience a wide range of symptoms (or none at all) with severe narrowings in thier blood vessels.