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Question:

Are coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease, atherosclerotic heart disease and ischemic heart disease the same?

Is coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease, atherosclerotic heart disease, atherosclerosis, and ischemic heart disease the same? Can any or all of the above cause Afib, cardiomyopathy, sick sinus syndrome?

Submitted by James from Panama City, Florida on 02/28/2014

Answer:
by Denton A. Cooley, MD

In most instances, ischemic heart disease, i.e., coronary artery disease and/or coronary heart disease, is a result or consequence of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis (fatty deposits within the arteries). When the coronary artery becomes affected by arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis, it may become occluded, causing impaired blood supply to the myocardium (heart muscle). Ischemic heart disease is frequently a forerunner of atrial fibrillation. The term, “ischemic” pertains to one form of cardiomyopathy.