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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 128-136

Escalation of coronary atherosclerosis in younger people by comparison of two autopsy studies conducted a decade apart

1 Department of Pathology, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 ESIC Model Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Forensic Medicine, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kusuma Venkatesh
No. 28, 2nd Cross, Maruthi Seva Nagar, Banasawadi Road, Bengaluru - 560 033, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death worldwide which includes coronary heart disease (CHD) as the major contributor. The foremost cause of CHD is atherosclerosis of coronary arteries leading to angina to sudden deaths which is sharply increasing in India; sadly more in the younger people. In this study, results were compared to an autopsy result performed a decade earlier. Aims: Both autopsy studies were conducted to assess the frequency of coronary atherosclerosis, morphological types of lesions and the degree of stenosis in three major coronary arteries. The association of the disease to age, sex, socio-economic status, diet and obesity were studied along with correlating the severity with major risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and smoking. Materials and Methods: 60 hearts in the 1st study and 120 in the 2nd study were studied after collecting from Forensic department with details of the deceased. Hearts were dissected by Virchow's method and three major coronary arteries were studied by making serial sectioning. The atherosclerotic lesions were examined histopathologically and typed according to American Heart Association classification along with grading of the luminal stenosis. Results: The second study showed an alarmingly higher incidence of atherosclerosis (90.83%), especially in younger age. Compared to the older study in which 68.33% had coronary atherosclerosis. In both studies coronary atherosclerosis was more in males, severity increased with age and proximal segment of left anterior descending coronary artery was the most commonly affected part with higher grade lesions. Conclusion: The frequency of occurrence of coronary atherosclerosis has definitely increased steeply in the past two decades and alarmingly more in the younger people, with the severity being common in the fourth decade of life itself. There is strong positive correlation with major risk factors reiterating the importance of clinical screening and preventive programs.

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