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What is Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease?

What is silent ischemia and chronic ischemic heart disease? Ischemia is a condition known for the restriction of blood flow to a particular part of the body. In the case of chronic ischemic heart disease, blood flow is restricted to the heart muscle and this is very dangerous.  Chronic ischemic heart disease is the name given to overall heart problems that is caused by a narrowing of the heart’s arteries; this is also called cardiac ischemia. Ischemia can cause chest pain and similar symptoms as angina  Sometimes people confuse it with a heart attack or even severe acid reflux – but your doctor will be able to diagnose this properly.  It can be noticeable – or simply silent and deadly.

What is silent ischemia? Reports have indicated that 3-4 million Americans experience ischemic episodes with no symptoms. The same people experience episodes without pain and as a result may experience a heart attack with no warning. There is no pain or symptoms related to this condition. Unfortunately heart disease usually arises from this condition.

People who have experienced previous heart attacks are more prone to heart disease. Those who have diabetes are at a much higher risk than most for the development of silent ischemia. Doctors will recommend various tests be done to monitor episodes. An exercise stress test may be encouraged or can wear a Holter monitor to measure the electrocardiogram for a 24-48 hour period. These two tests can be used to diagnose silent ischemia episodes and indicate if there is a problem the person should be aware of. Other tests may also be recommended by the heart specialist and in some situations; more than one might be required to make a the correct diagnosis.   It’s very important to talk to your primary care physician if you feel you have the symptoms or if you have experienced previous heart attacks.   There are steps that can be taken to diagnose and treat this condition, before the situation goes too far.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.