Q: How many Americans are currently affected by coronary heart disease?
Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as ischemic heart disease, is the second most common form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) behind hypertension. Approximately 17.6 million people in the United States are affected by this condition.
CHD is defined as an occlusion (blockage) of the blood vessels that serve the heart muscle. The reduced blood supply limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the heart. It can be caused by spasm of the vessels, but is more commonly caused by blocked arteries from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and/or blood clots (acute coronary syndrome).
If the blockage of the coronary arteries is intermittent, it is called angina pectoris. This condition accounts for approximately 60 percent of people with CHD. The second most common form of CHD is myocardial infarction, or heart attacks. Over 10 million Americans suffer from myocardial infarctions every year.
Chest pain is the most common symptom for heart attacks, though other symptoms are possible. If you experience symptoms for CHD, especially if you have an increased risk of the disease, seek immediate medical help. Often, people are not sure what is wrong and wait too long to seek help. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get life-saving treatment.
If you or a loved one has CHD but believe your doctor failed to diagnose it properly or did not treat it correctly, you should contact an experienced Georgia medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your situation.