Heart disease refers to a group of conditions that decrease the health and functionality of the heart muscle.
The major blood vessels which supply the heart muscle with blood are called coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease is diagnosed when the coronary arteries become damaged or weakened.
The most prevalent cause of coronary artery disease is the accumulation of arterial plaque deposits along the linings of the blood vessels and the heart muscle. This has been linked to high LDL cholesterol levels as well as oxidation of blood lipids.
Arterial plaque is comprised by cholesterol, waste from cells, fatty substances like triglycerides, calcium and a clotting agent called fibrin. When plaque deposits increasingly constrict arterial flow over time, the heart has to work harder to get blood delivered throughout the circulatory system.