A frequent condition in affluent, well-nourished nations, increasingly also in middle-income nations, often the largest single cause of death for men past middle age. It affects women almost equally but usually a decade or more later in life than men. The fact that it causes so many premature deaths makes it one of the most common public health problems in the world. It is due to atheroma of the coronary arteries, which is related to multiple risk factors, the most important of which are cigarette smoking, hypertension, physical inactivity, high serum cholesterol (related to dietary intake of cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fatty acids), diabetes, and several other risk factors. Genetic factors can also influence the risk and prognosis of coronary heart disease. See also ischemic heart disease.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.