Ischaemic heart disease (coronary artery disease) is a condition in which some of the heart muscle does not get an adequate supply of blood. If the lack of blood is extreme, a section of heart muscle can die causing a heart attack (myocardial infarction = coronary thrombosis). If the lack of blood is less extreme, you get chest pain (angina) especially when doing physical activities (on exertion) because the heart muscle needs more oxygen then and is short of it.
The cause of ischaemic heart disease is narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that go to the heart muscle (the coronary arteries). The risk of this happening is increased in people who smoke tobacco, have raised blood pressure (hypertension) and have higher levels of a fatty substance (cholesterol) in the blood than normal. Some of the other factors that increase the risk of ischaemic heart disease are: being male, a family history (genetic factors), Diabetes Map 436, and being overweight (obesity). Ischaemic heart disease mainly occurs in people over 40 years old. It is the commonest cause of sudden death (when an apparently healthy person drops down dead) in people over 40 years.
Included here were deaths coded as heart failure, ventricular dysrhythmias, generalised atherosclerosis and other ill-defined desciptions and complications of heart disease.
In 2002 Heart attacks caused 8.3% of deaths in adults aged 15 to 59 years, 20.1% of deaths in people over 60 years old, 22.8% of all deaths in rich territories, 9.7% of all deaths in poor territories and 9.3% of all deaths in very poor territories.
Global Burden of Disease estimated in 2002 Heart Attacks to cause 4.4% of all Male, 3.4% of all Female, 9.1% of all Rich territory, 3.3% of all Poor territory and 2.9% of all Very poor territory burden of disease (Disability Adjusted Lost Years).
Heart attacks caused 12.6% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 1158 deaths per million people per year.