Health Promotion & Knowledge Management

Creating Awareness on Health Effects of Fast food

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Coronary Heart Disease (CHD/CAD)

Definition: a chronic disease in which blood flow is obstructed through the coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. This obstruction is caused by a disease known as atherosclerosis, which is sometimes called “hardening of the arteries.” [4]

Atherosclerosis is gradual, often taking decades before the affected person is in danger of cardiovascular problems.

First, the inner lining of the artery (e.g., the endothelium) is damaged. This causes white blood cells to gather at the site of the injury. This in turn provokes an inflammatory immune response that causes further damage to the artery wall.

Over time, the endothelium is compromised and large, toxic (Low Density Lipoprotein) LDL cholesterol molecules can penetrate into the artery wall. The white blood cells and cholesterol combine to form a lipid foam. In the early stages of atherosclerosis, these fatty streaks are present on the arterial wall as plaque deposits.

Over time, the plaque may calcify, or form a hardened “shell.” This reduces the supple artery’s ability to contract and expand and narrows the artery, thus reducing the amount of blood that can flow through it. If the plaque deposit ruptures, a blood clot can form at the site of the rupture, or pieces of the plaque can travel through the arteries until they eventually cause a blockage. A heart attack and cardiac arrest may result.

Untreated, CAD usually continues to worsen. Many CAD patients have symptoms such as chest pain (angina) and fatigue, which occur when the heart isn’t receiving adequate oxygen.

As many as 50 percent of patients, however, have no symptoms until a heart attack occurs.   An estimated 13.2 million Americans suffer from CAD. Also referred to as coronary heart disease, CAD is the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the United States today. 

 Health problems related to CHD: 

Heart Attack : scarring, or death, of heart muscle due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood is blocked by a blood clot in a coronary artery, usually due to plaque-related narrowing of the artery.  A heart attack is an event that results in permanent heart damage or death. It is also known as a myocardial infarction, because part of the heart muscle (myocardium) may literally die (infarct).

A heart attack occurs when one of the coronary arteries becomes severely or totally blocked, usually by a blood clot. When the heart muscle does not receive the oxygen-rich blood that it needs, it will begin to die. The severity of a heart attack usually depends on how much of the heart muscle is injured or dies during the heart attack 

Cardiac Arrest: The abrupt or immediate stopping of the heart. Without immediate treatment with a defibrillator, sudden cardiac death is unavoidable.Cardiac arrest refers to a sudden, profound disturbance in the heart’s rhythm that causes the heart to stop beating completely or slow to the point where the life is unsustainable.

Stroke: An event in which blood flow to the brain is restricted, causing damage and tissue death. It is life-threatening Stroke is an event in which blood flow to the brain is restricted, causing damage and tissue death. It is life-threatening. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is similar to a stroke, but does not cause permanent damage. While rare, pediatric stroke can occur, usually caused by a blood clot. TIAs and carotid artery disease (atherosclerosis in the neck arteries) both increase the risk of a future stroke. A carotid endarterectomy is a procedure to remove plaque from the carotid arteries in the hopes of reducing stroke risk.  


1.         Bowman, Shanthy A. et al. Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy   Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey.        AAOP [serial on the Internet]. 2004 Jan 1; [cited 2006 August 7]; 113 [about 7        screens]. Available from: 2.         Ballinger, A. Patchett, S. Kumar, P. Clark, M, editors Clinical Medicine. 3rd  ed.
UK: Saunders; 2004.

3.         Briganti, EM et al. Untreated hypertension among Australian adults: the 1999– 2000 Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. eMJA [serial on the Internet] 2003; [cited 2006 August 13]; 179(3): [about 4 screens]. Available from: 

4.         HeartCentresOnline. Coronary Heart Disease [homepage on Internet]. HealthCentresOnline; [updated 2006; cited 2006 August 13]. Available from:   

5. of Coronary Heart Disease[homepage on Internet]. Adviware Pty Ltd  [updated 2006 August 2; cited 2006 August 13 Available           from:


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