Coronary 101

Posted: January 9, 2011 in 101

Coronary 101

A continuation of my post earlier:  Live Like We Are Dying

Coronary disease (or coronary heart disease) refers to the failure of coronary circulation to supply adequate circulation to cardiac muscle and surrounding tissue. It is most commonly equated with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, but coronary disease can be due to other causes, such as coronary vasospasm. It is possible for the stenosis to be caused by the spasm.

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of coronary disease, which has no clear etiology, has many risk factors, including smoking, radiotherapy to the chest, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.

Also, having a Type A behavior pattern, a group of personality characteristics including time urgency and competitiveness, is linked to an increased risk of coronary disease (will discuss more later).

Lifestyle changes that may be useful in coronary disease include:

  • Weight control (no problem with that)
  • Smoking cessation (no prob at all)
  • Exercise (will have to do a better job)
  • Healthy Diet. Over the past 50 years, doctors have recommended the reduction of animal based foods and an increase in plant based foods. (guilty as charged. will do better)

Medications to treat coronary disease:

  • Cholesterol lowering medications, such as statins, are useful to decrease the amount of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.
  • Nitroglycerin
  • ACE inhibitors, which treat hypertension and may lower the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction
  • Calcium channel blockers and/or beta-blockers
  • Aspirin

Surgical Intervention (not this route please):

  • Angioplasty
  • Stents (bare-metal or drug-eluting)
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Heart Transplant (oh no!)

And since we are at it, might as well discuss who are the TYPE A’s and the B’s:

Type A personality behavior was first described as a potential risk factor for heart disease in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R. H. Rosenman. After a ten-year study of healthy men between the ages of 35 and 59, Friedman and Rosenman estimated that Type A behavior doubles the risk of coronary heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals. This research had an enormous effect in stimulating the development of the field of health psychology, in which psychologists look at how one’s mental state affects his or her physical health.

Type A

The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

Type A individuals are often described as “stress junkies“.

Type B

The theory describes Type B individuals as perfect contrast to those with Type A personalities. People with Type B personalities are generally patient, relaxed, easy-going, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency.

Because of these characteristics, Type B individuals are often described as apathetic and disengaged.

That explains it. Now we know.

Thanks to wikipedia and for the enlightenment 😉

Jargon and Sources:

atherosclerotic a common form of arteriosclerosis in which fatty substances form a deposit of plaque on the inner lining of arterial walls.

vasospasm – sudden constriction of an artery, leading to a decrease in its diameter and in the amount of blood it can deliver.

stenosis – a narrowing or stricture of a passage or vessel.

hyperlipidemia excessive amounts of fat and fatty substances in the blood.

ambivalence – the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.


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