The heart muscle needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. The coronary arteries (see Biology of the Heart and Blood Vessels: Blood Supply of the Heart), which branch off the aorta just after it leaves the heart, deliver this blood. Coronary artery disease can block blood flow, causing chest pain (angina) or a heart attack (also called myocardial infarction, or MI).

Coronary artery disease was once widely thought to be a man's disease. On average, men develop it about 10 years earlier than women because, until menopause, women are protected by high levels of estrogen. However, after menopause, coronary artery disease becomes more common among women. Among people aged 75 and older, a higher proportion of women have the disease, because women live longer.

In developed countries, coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Coronary artery disease, specifically coronary atherosclerosis (literally “hardening of the arteries,” which involves fatty deposits in the artery walls and may progress to narrowing and even blockage of blood flow in the artery), occurs in about 5 to 9% (depending on sex and race) of people aged 20 and older. The death rate increases with age and overall is higher for men than for women, particularly between the ages of 35 and 55. After age 55, the death rate for men declines, and the rate for women continues to climb. After age 70 to 75, the death rate for women exceeds that for men who are the same age.


Coronary artery disease is almost always due to the gradual buildup of cholesterol and other fatty materials (called atheromas or atherosclerotic plaques) in the wall of a coronary artery. This process is called atherosclerosis (see Atherosclerosis) and can affect many arteries, not just those of the heart.

Occasionally, however, coronary artery disease is caused by spasm of a coronary artery, which can occur spontaneously, or from use of certain drugs such as cocaine and nicotine. Rarely, the cause is a birth defect, a viral infection (such as Kawasaki disease), systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), inflammation of the arteries (arteritis), a blood clot that traveled from a heart chamber into one of the coronary arteries, or physical damage (from an injury or radiation therapy).

As an atheroma grows, it may bulge into the artery, narrowing the interior (lumen) of the artery and partially blocking blood flow. With time, calcium accumulates in the atheroma. As an atheroma blocks more and more of a coronary artery, the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle (myocardium) can become inadequate. The blood supply is more likely to be inadequate during exertion, when the heart muscle requires more blood. An inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle (from any cause) is called myocardial ischemia. If the heart does not receive enough blood, it can no longer contract and pump blood normally.

An atheroma, even one that is not blocking very much blood flow, may rupture suddenly. The rupture of an atheroma often triggers the formation of a blood clot (thrombus). The clot further narrows or completely blocks the artery, causing acute myocardial ischemia. The consequences of this acute ischemia are referred to as acute coronary syndromes (see Coronary Artery Disease: Acute Coronary Syndromes (Heart Attack; Myocardial Infarction; Unstable Angina)). These syndromes include unstable angina and several types of heart attack, depending on the location and degree of the blockage. In a heart attack, the area of the heart muscle supplied by the blocked artery dies.

Find powerful herbal remedies Herbal Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease

Herbal Remedies for Heart Care:

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has a tonic effect on the heart, lowers cholesterol and inhibits blood platelet collection. Ayurvedic physicians suggest that eating a little bit of ginger every day will help to prevent heart attack.

Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) Arjuna is a coronary vasodilator. It protects the heart, strengthens circulation, and helps to maintain the tone and health of the heart muscle. It is also useful in stopping bleeding and to promote healing after a heart attack. Current scientific research has proved that T.arjuna contains specific medically active constituents namely triterpine glycosides like arjunetosides I, II, III, IV, arjunine and arjunetein. Bark of Arjuna tree has been found to be rich in Co-enzyme Q-10 which is highly prescribed in cardiology departments now a days to prevent heart problems

Garlic (Allium sativum), (Lasuna) Garlic is a wonder drug for heart. Clinical trials have shown that fresh garlic and garlic supplements may lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and destroy plaque. When people with high blood pressure were given one clove of garlic a day for 12 weeks, their diastolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels were significantly reduced.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) A unique herb with anti-stress adaptogenic action that leads to better physical fitness and helps cope with life's daily stress. It is especially beneficial in stress related disorders such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, general debility.

Guggul (Commiphora mukul) It has been shown to lower blood-fat levels while raising levels of HDL, the so called “good cholesterol”. It is useful in atherosclerosis, psoriasis and cardiac ischemia.

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systemic lupus syndrome

13 thoughts on “Systemic Lupus Syndrome

  1. Lisa

    What are the odds of a parents passing Lupus onto their children?
    My Fiance has lups and we wanted to find out the odds of our children getting Lupus if we start a family

    1. mgunnycappo

      Lupus has not been proved to be a hereditary disease. It is believed that Lupus has both genetic and environmental factors associated with it. Statistics show that people who have Lupus only have a very (and I mean tiny) small increase in Lupus within the family. Most researchers attribute this to the fact that people with Lupus tend to recognize the illness in others and therefore take their loved ones to get checked out…increasing the chances of a diagnosis.

      In reality you don’t have any greater chance of passing this on to your children then the normal population.

      One side note…pregnancy with Lupus is a very challenging proposition. All Lupus pregnancies are considered ‘high risk’. You have about 50-75% higher chance of an early delivery. Pregnancy can cause Lupus flares and it can be difficult to treat while pregnant due to the fact that many medications are contra indicated during pregnancy.

      Lastly you’ll want your fiance to make sure she doesn’t have antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). A secondary disease that affects about 50% of people with Systemic Lupus. This disease is a clotting disease which poses a huge risk to both mother and child.

      People with APS are advised against pregnancy and are steered towards adoption or surrogacy.

  2. Dskxx

    What are all the possible ways of obtaining stem cells?
    I am doing a research project and I need to be knowledgeable in this subject. What are all the possible ways of obtaining/harvesting them?

    Thanks 🙂
    Sheena: Because I feel like it. How ’bout answering a question instead of judging. Nice.

  3. Don David

    What would you say the pros and cons of stem cell research are?
    If you’re against then what are the cons? If you are for then what are the pros?

  4. spyrum

    why do all medical conditions use an acronym?
    like these pharmaceutical companies are putting their mark on them. RLS (restless leg syndrome) come on this is a joke right? who made that one up? i know someone is making money off of this.

    1. étiénne

      It actually isn’t about money. No one pharmaceutical company benefits from calling it RLS… maybe if it were called “Eli Lilly’s RLS” or “MERCK RLS” but strangely enough, the naming isn’t about money (I agree, it is strange that something isn’t about money for once!)

      They don’t all use acronyms either: Lou Gherig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, heart disease, etc. etc.

      *** PS – Lou Gehrig’s disease is NOT ALS.

      Some do (like RLS, AIDS, IBS) becuase it is easier to remember than “saying Restless Leg Syndrome” or “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome” or “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”.

      Some do because most medical terms are derived from latin words which are unfamiliar to most people – and they can also be very long – so they are shortened for ease
      ( “Strep” for streptococcus, “SLE” for Systemic lupus erythematosus).

  5. Far out, Man

    What are some diseases that would cause one to cough blood?
    I’m curious, because I read a book in which one of the characters is always coughing up blood, then dies in the end. So, what diseases would cause somebody to do this, more specifically, ones that are long-term, but still usually fatal. Thanks.

    1. gobucs2012

      ~Just to name a few~
      Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
      Alveolar hydatid disease
      Bronchial adenoma
      Bronchogenic carcinoma
      Bronchogenic cyst
      Carbamoylphosphate synthetase deficiency
      Cardiac failure, left sided
      Echinococcus granulosus
      Foreign body in respiratory tract
      Goodpasture’s syndrome
      Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia
      Histiocytosis X
      Hughes-Stovin syndrome
      Idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis
      Klebsiella sp
      Laryngeal carcinoma
      Lung abscess
      Lymphomatoid granulomatosis
      Microscopic polyangiitis
      Mitral valve stenosis
      Mycobacterium tuberculosis
      Oropharyngeal cancer
      Pulmonary arterio-venous malformation
      Pulmonary embolism
      Pulmonary hypertension
      Pulmonary infarction
      Pulmonary oedema
      Systemic lupus erythematosus
      Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia
      Wegener’s granulomatosis
      Yersinia pestis

  6. awesomeness

    What are the possible diseases for coughing up blood and not breathing properly?
    My friend is just 13 years old and she is coughing up blood. She cant breathe sometimes. Her heart is not functioning properly. I dont know whats wrong with her. Is there any treatment? I really want to help her. The doctors say that she is going to die in 1-2 months. There is 20% chance that she might live a LITTLE longer. And if she suffers from any emotional type of thing now, her heart is going to fail.

    1. Courtney

      A number of conditions, diseases, and medical tests may make you cough up blood.

      Diseases and conditions may include:

      Blood clot in the lung
      Cystic fibrosis
      Goodpasture syndrome
      Inflammation of the blood vessels in the lung (vasculitis)
      Inhaling blood into the lungs (pulmonary aspiration)
      Irritation of the throat from violent coughing
      Nosebleed that drips blood down into the lungs
      Pulmonary edema
      Systemic lupus erythematosus

  7. bluemoonmuse2

    What countries are doing stem cell research and trsnsplantation?
    Where have they performed the most procedures, and of course, had a good track record? Anything in Canada?
    Thanks, iamacatholic for an enlightening explanation, but it doesn’t answer the question.

  8. bml

    I have to compare turners syndrome to lupus and i need help!?
    Here is the question i have to answer:
    Compare your disease with systemic lupus erythematosus and evaluate which disease is worse and why (think about body systems affected, treatment, and prognosis)

  9. Anonymous

    What are arguments about the use of stem cells and the routine of freezing umbilical cord blood from new Born’?
    I need this for my anatomy class. Please help me!

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