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Atheroma / Coronary Heart Disease / Ischaemic Heart Disease

Patients may be confused by the number of terms that doctors use to describe essentially the same thing.

Atheroma is the term which describes the fatty substance that is deposited in the walls of the heart (coronary) arteries. It is made up of a complex mixture of fats including cholesterol and cell debris. The process which causes atheroma is termed atherosclerosis. The disease that results is called both Coronary and Ischaemic Heart Disease. The narrowings are sometimes described as atheromatous plaques .

In the early stages of Coronary Heart disease the patient may suffer no symptoms. Later the disease can cause angina or a heart attack.

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