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NOTE:  Letters in my Q&A columns are reprinted just as they come to me. Spelling and grammar are left as is and only small corrections are made to improve readability, ensure anonymity or delete expletives that may offend some readers. This is not legal advice. You should always seek the advice of an attorney who is qualified in Veterans' law before you make any decisions about your own benefits.

                  Ischemic Heart Disease

There is some recent question of just what is Ischemic Heart Disease? Is it the same as Coronary Artery Disease and Atherosclerosis?

The short answer is yes. The following is Work In Progress (WIP) but may help you if you are denied your benefit because your record isn't specific to IHD.

Read The IHD Questionnaire

Define Ischemia; In medicine, ischemia is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue.

What is ischemia? Ischemia is a condition in which the blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted to a part of the body. Cardiac ischemia is the name for lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle.

What is ischemic heart disease? It's the term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood and oxygen reaches the heart muscle. This is also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease. This can ultimately lead to heart attack.

Ischemia often causes chest pain or discomfort known as angina pectoris.

What Is Coronary Artery Disease? Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, is a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow. When your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, oxygen-rich blood can't reach your heart muscle. This can cause angina or a heart attack.

CAD Definition, By Mayo Clinic staff: Coronary artery disease develops when your coronary arteries — the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients — become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaques) on your arteries are usually to blame for coronary artery disease. When plaques build up, they narrow your coronary arteries, causing your heart to receive less blood. Eventually, diminished blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or other coronary artery disease symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Coronary Atherosclerosis, Definition: Coronary atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the accumulation of white blood cells, cell debris, fatty substances (cholesterol and fatty acids), calcium, and fibrous tissue (plaque or atheromas) on the walls of the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle. As plaque slowly increase in size over many years, the artery narrows in places (stenosis), and blood flow to the heart is reduced. Cholesterol-containing plaques are highly dangerous even without narrowing of the vessel because the fibrous cap can be softened and rupture suddenly during acute heavy exercise or activity (e.g., extreme athletic effort, shoveling snow). This can cause bleeding from the blood vessel wall, resulting in blood clot formation that may obstruct the vessel. The stenosis may become so significant that the blood supply is inadequate to meet the needs of the heart (myocardial ischemia), and the affected part of the heart muscle no longer functions normally. Myocardial ischemia typically results in chest pain (angina pectoris), but may also cause no symptoms (silent ischemia). Total blockage of a coronary artery results in a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

411 - Acute and Subacute Forms of Ischemic Heart Disease, Other
414 - Ischemic Heart Disease, Chronic, Other Forms
414.0 - Coronary Atherosclerosis
414.00 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Unspecified Type of Vessel, Native or Graft
414.01 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Native Coronary Artery
414.02 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Autologous Biological Bypass Graft
414.03 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Nonautologous Biological Bypass Graft
414.04 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Artery Bypass Graft; Internal Mammary Artery
414.05 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Unspecified Type of Bypass Graft
414.06 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Native Coronary Artery of Transplanted Heart
414.07 - Coronary Atherosclerosis; of Bypass Graft (Artery) (Vein) of Transplanted Heart
414.8 - Ischemic Heart Disease, Chronic, Other Specified Forms
414.9 - Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease, Unspecified; Ischemic Heart Disease NOS                      
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This Time, The Spotlight Falls On Pittsburgh The denial of the most obvious of claims is a warning to you all. Ischemic Heart Disease Claim Wrongly Denied   More