Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels.
Blood flow to the heart, brain or body can be reduced as the result of a blood clot (thrombosis), or by a build-up of fatty deposits inside an artery that cause the artery to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis).
Types of CVD
There are four main types of CVD. They are:
- coronary heart disease
- peripheral arterial disease
- aortic disease
Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart is blocked or reduced by a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) in the coronary arteries.
The coronary arteries are the two major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood. As they narrow because of a build-up of atheroma, the blood supply to your heart will be restricted. This can cause angina (chest pain). If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack.