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The majority of cases are due to there being some narrowing in the blood vessels supplying the heart. This is usually due to the presence of some atheroma within the lining of the artery. Atheroma is like fatty patches or plaques that develop within the inside lining of arteries. (This is similar to water pipes that get furred up.)

Plaques of atheroma may gradually form over a number of years in one or more places in the coronary arteries. Each plaque has an outer firm shell with a soft inner fatty core. Atheroma leads to the blood vessels narrowing.
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Various other uncommon conditions can also block a coronary artery.

For example:

Inflammation of the coronary arteries (rare).

A blood clot forming elsewhere in the body (for example, in a heart chamber) and travelling to a coronary artery where it gets stuck.

Complications from heart surgery.

A stab wound to the heart.

Taking cocaine, which can cause a coronary artery to go into spasm.

Some other rare heart problems.

Chest pain caused by acute coronary syndromes can come on suddenly, as is the case with a heart attack. Other times, the pain can be unpredictable or get worse even with rest, both hallmark symptoms of unstable angina. People who experience chronic chest pain resulting from years of cholesterol buildup in their arteries can develop an acute coronary syndrome if a blood clot forms on
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What causes acute coronary syndrome?

Acute coronary syndrome happens because blood flow has slowed or stopped in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Acute coronary syndrome is typically caused by coronary artery diseaseCoronary artery disease, also called heart disease, is caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

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Atherosclerosis causes a substance called plaque to build up in the coronary arteries. Plaque causes angina by narrowing the arteries. The narrowing limits blood flow to the heart muscle. A heart attack happens when blood flow is completely blocked.



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The heart is made mainly of special muscle. The heart pumps blood into blood vessels (arteries) which take the blood to every part of the body.
The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart If these arteries are narrowed or blocked, the heart does not get enough oxygen.

This can cause angina or a heart attack. The blockage can be sudden and complete, or it can come and go – clot, break open, then clot again. “In either case, the heart tissue is dying, even if it’s just a few cells or a whole big section of the heart,” Bolger said.

Like any other muscle, the heart muscle needs a good blood supply. The coronary arteries take blood to the heart muscle. The main coronary arteries branch off from the aorta. The aorta is the large artery which takes oxygen-rich blood from the heart chambers to the body. The main coronary arteries divide into smaller branches which take blood to all parts of the heart muscle.

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Your body gets most of its energy from glucose, a form of sugar that comes from some of the food you eat. If you have diabetes, it’s harder for your body to turn food into energy. That’s because the body either:

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cannot produce enough insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas),

or both.

cannot use insulin (also called insulin resistance),

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Without enough insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells. Over time, the amount of glucose in your blood rises and cells are starved of energy. In addition to heart attack and stroke, uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to other health problems as well, such as blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

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Heart disease & diabetes often occur together. Whether you have heart disease or are at high risk of it, get your blood glucose (sugar) level checked regularly, especially if diabetes runs in your family.

Diabetes

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  • 10.6 million women have diabetes (8 percent of all women ages 20 years and older)
  • 3 million women who have diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • 34.4 million women have pre-diabetes.
  • 14.6% of African-American women have diabetes.
  • 11.8% of Hispanic-American women have diabetes.
  • Prevalence for diabetes African American women is two times higher than in Caucasian women (14.6% of African-American women have diabetes while 6.1% of Caucasian women have diabetes)
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Heart Disease

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  • 43.8 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Nearly 7 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina.
  • 6.6 million women are currently living with coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women and is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in women annually.
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  • Diabetes dramatically increases a woman’s chances of developing heart disease and having a heart attack and at much younger ages.
  • Diabetes erases the heart protective benefits of estrogen during child-bearing years.
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Women with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease than women who don’t have diabetes. Women with diabetes who have survived a heart attack are at much greater risk of having a second one compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes contributes to heart-related deaths.

Two out of three women with diabetes die from heart disease.

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While the death rate from heart disease has dropped by 27 percent in women without diabetes, deaths from heart and blood vessel disease in women with diabetes have increased by 23 percent over the last 30 years.

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Smoking doubles the risk for heart disease in people with diabetes.

2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications to lower their blood pressure.

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  • Women with diabetes are 2.5 times more likely to have heart attacks.
  • The risk for stroke is 1.5 times higher among people with diabetes.
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2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications

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Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs

Your health care team will focus on controlling your blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol, together with use of aspirin and other medications as indicated.

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A

stands for A1C (a test that shows average blood glucose level over the past three months). Have this checked at least twice a year.

A1C target Below 7 percent

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B

is for blood pressure. High blood pressure is serious and can make your heart work too hard.
Blood pressure target Below 130/80 mm Hg

C

is for cholesterol (lipids). Have it checked at least once a year.

Blood fat (cholesterol) targets LDL (bad) cholesterol Under 100 mg/dL Triglycerides Under 150 mg/dL HDL (good) cholesterol For men: above 40 mg/dL For women: above 50 mg/dL

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