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BIOLOGY
Asked by Micheal

What is heart disease? What is the primary cause of heart disease and what symptoms does it typically produce?

The heart is the pump that enables oxygenated blood to travel around the body and is vital to our existence and survival. Coronary Heart Disease is where the blood supply to the heart is restricted (imagine the heart like an electrical pump distributing electricity around the body, but it still needs electricity to function itself). This is generally down to blockage in the coronary blood vessels, due to the build-up of fatty plaques known as atherosclerosis. So as the blood is not able to get through as quickly, common symptoms include angina (chest pain) when doing small amounts of physical exercise, such as walking upstairs. Breathlessness and feeling akin to heartburn may also be found. Myocardial Infarction is also known as a heart attack, where blood flow is significantly decreased or even stops to part of the heart. This is usually a consequence of untreated coronary heart disease and can be fatal.

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Claire Jeffrey
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