Cardiovascular Disease (CVD): Symptoms and Causes

The heart needs an adequate blood supply to provide oxygen so that the muscle can contract and pump blood to itself through the coronary arteries and rest of the body.

Updated: August 17, 2020

The heart needs an adequate blood supply to provide oxygen so that the muscle can contract and pump blood to itself through the coronary arteries and rest of the body. The coronary arteries originate from the base of the aorta and then branch out along the surface of the heart. When one or more coronary arteries narrow, the adequate blood supply is not possible to the heart resulting in heart muscle to ache. The symptoms of chest pain or pressure and shortness of breath due to atherosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) is called angina. When one of the coronary arteries become completely blocked due to a plaque that ruptures and causes a blood clot to form, the blood supply to part of the heart will be stopped. This will result in the death of the heart muscle causing a heart attack or myocardial infarction.

Signs and Symptoms of CVD:

The first signs and symptoms of heart disease may be a heart attack. This can lead to

  • Crushing chest pain or heaviness in the center of the chest with radiation of the pain to the arm or jaw.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Upper abdominal, shoulder, or back pain

Symptoms that occur at rest and waken the patient from sleep is known as unstable angina. It does not respond quickly to nitroglycerin or rest. Heart failure can cause different symptoms such as swelling and fatigue. The symptoms can be different in different groups of people. Women, diabetics, and elderly people may have different kinds of pain such as, overwhelming fatigue and weakness or difficulty performing routine daily activities like walking, climbing steps, or doing any household work. The narrowing of the affected coronary artery increases over time and blood flow to that part of the heart decreases. This makes the symptoms of cardiovascular disease become worse and it may take longer for those symptoms to get better with rest. 

Causes of  CVD:

The main cause of CVD is lifestyle factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis or narrowing of arteries. Smoking along with diabetes and poorly controlled hypertension (high blood pressure) causes inflammation and irritation of the inner lining of the coronary arteries. Over time, cholesterol in the bloodstream is collected in the inflamed areas resulting in the formation of plaques that grows and narrows the arteries. This can result in decreased blood flow to potentially cause the symptoms of angina.

In some cases, the plaque will be ruptured or break, leading to the formation of a blood clot in the coronary artery. This clot can completely block the artery, preventing oxygen-rich blood from being supplied to the heart muscle. Without the supply of blood that part of the heart muscle begins to die resulting in a myocardial infarction or heart attack.

The affected part of the heart muscles will be replaced by scar tissue, if not treated quickly.  Over time, this scar tissue decreases the heart's ability to pump effectively and efficiently and may lead to ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Heart muscle that lacks adequate blood supply becomes irritable and may not conduct electrical impulses normally leading to abnormal electrical heartbeats including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. These are heart arrhythmias, one of the major causes of sudden cardiac death.


Related Articles

Urine Tests for Diabetes: Purpose, Preparation, Procedure and Normal Range

Urine Tests for Diabetes: Purpose, Preparation, Procedure and Normal Range

A urine glucose test is done to check for abnormally high levels of glucose and ketone in the urine.

Complications, Diagnosis and Prevention of Migraines

Complications, Diagnosis and Prevention of Migraines

A migraine headache is the result of specific physiologic changes that occur within the brain and lead to sever pain with associated symptoms of nausea or vomiting.

Treatment Options and Home Remedies for Hip Pain

Treatment Options and Home Remedies for Hip Pain

Depending on the condition that is causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in your thigh, inside of the hip joint, groin, outside of the hip joint or buttocks.

9 Home Remedies for Toothache

9 Home Remedies for Toothache

Toothache is basically a mild or severe pain in and around the teeth and jaws due dental cavity caused by tooth decay. Many people believe that natural home remedies are powerful which can be used at home for relief from toothache.

Coronary artery disease(CAD): Symptoms, Cause, Risk factor and Complications

Coronary artery disease(CAD): Symptoms, Cause, Risk factor and Complications

Coronary artery disease comes under cardiovascular diseases(CVD). CAD is also known as ischemic heart disease (IHD).

How to fight Cushing's Syndrome Naturally?

How to fight Cushing's Syndrome Naturally?

Treatment for Cushing's syndrome involves treating the adrenal or pituitary tumors or treating cancer causing the excess ACTH production.

Anal Disorders :Types and Symptoms

Anal Disorders :Types and Symptoms

The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive tract where stool leaves the body. The anus starts at the bottom of the rectum and the anorectal line separates the anus from the rectum.

Diagnosis of Appendicitis

Diagnosis of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix.

Suppliers Across World


Browse suppliers across the globe including Cameroon, Guam, Dominica, South Korea, Northern Ireland, Poland, Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bouvet Island, Fiji Islands, Brunei, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Solomon Islands, Denmark, Aruba, Kuwait, French Polynesia, Belize, Martinique, Northern Mariana Islands, Andorra, Malaysia, Algeria, Australia, Kenya, Cuba, Bangladesh, Macao, Botswana, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Switzerland, Virgin Islands, British, Slovenia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, East Timor, Palau, United States, Lithuania, Honduras, United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Nepal, Bulgaria, Ivory Coast and other localities of World as well..