Ischemic Heart Disease and Silent Ischemia
Ischemic heart disease is a condition where the flow of blood to the heart muscles is restricted, normally caused by narrowed arteries due to plaque. Ischemia, in its more general tern is a condition wherein the flow of blood, and therefore oxygen, to a part of the body is restricted, this may be the brain, peripheral limbs or, as mentioned, the heart.
Ischemic heart disease refers to heart problems caused by narrowed arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood and oxygen reaches the heart. This is also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease. This can lead to heart attack. Ischemia often causes chest pain or discomfort (angina pectoris).
The dangers of silent ischemia
As many as 3 to 4 million Americans may have ischemic episodes without even knowing it! These people have ischemia without pain, also known as silent ischemia. They may have a heart attack with no prior warning. In addition, people with angina may also have undiagnosed episodes of silent ischemia.
A stress test or a portable electrocardiogram device (holter) are two of the most commonly used methods to diagnose this problem. Ischemic heart disease and silent ischemia are potentially killers and should not be under evaluated.
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