The commonest disease affecting the coronary arteries is atherosclerosis, otherwise known as “furring” or “hardening” of the arteries. This phenomenon can occur in arteries all over the body. In the heart, the condition can lead to symptoms such as chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath. A more sinister manifestation is called a “heart attack” or myocardial infarction. This results from the sudden blockage of a diseased coronary artery producing injury to the cardiac muscle.
Risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis include: