Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. 

Arteries have three unique layers. The inner layer is the first place heart disease begins to take place. Abnormalities caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, or toxic products like nicotine or homocysteine cause abnormalities and begin to damage the lining of the artery. The resulting damage causes a cholesterol patch to form which then causes inflammation and attracts additional clots. When the media or middle lining of the artery is exposed to blood the body begins to add cholesterol and a cycle of inflammation causing damage to the artery leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. This fatty material thickens, hardens (forms calcium deposits), and may eventually block the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis. The two terms are often used to mean the same thing.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Symptoms of heart disease may be very noticeable, but sometimes you can have the disease and not be aware of any symptoms.

Chest pain or discomfort (angina) is the most common symptom. This pain is caused when the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen. The intensity of pain varies from person to person. Common heart attack symptoms include:

  • Squeezing, pressure, or tightness in the chest and the feeling as if someone is clenching your heart. You feel it under your breast bone (sternum), but also in your neck, arms, stomach, or upper back.
  • The pain usually occurs with activity or emotion, and goes away with rest or a medicine called nitroglycerin.
  • Other symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue with activity (exertion).

What are treatment options for heart disease?

Common treatments for coronary artery disease include medications aimed at reducing high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes (glucose), and high cholesterol. Treatment depends on symptoms and the severity of the disease. Options for treatment may include:

  • ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure and protect your heart
  • Beta-blockers to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen use by the heart
  • Calcium channel blockers to relax arteries, lowering blood pressure and reducing strain on the heart
  • Diuretics to lower blood pressure and treat congestive heart failure
  • Nitrates (such as nitroglycerin) to stop chest pain and improve blood supply to the heart
  • Statins to lower cholesterol

To find a cardiologist in Memphis, Tennessee, please use our physician locator or call 901-516-9000.

Cardiology Locations

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1938 Crescent Meadow
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1938 Crescent Meadow

1938 Crescent Meadow Drive
Holly Springs, MS 38635

901-435-8550

Sutherland Cardiology Clinic
Sutherland Cardiology Clinic

7460 Wolf River Blvd.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-763-0200

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Germantown
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Germantown

7655 Poplar Ave., Suite 350
Germantown, TN 38138

901-761-2470

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 4250 Bethel
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 4250 Bethel

4250 Bethel Road, 5th Floor
Olive Branch, MS 38654

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 3950 New Covington Pike
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 3950 New Covington Pike

3950 New Covington Pike, Suite 220
Memphis, TN 38128

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 57 Germantown
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 57 Germantown

57 Germantown Court, Suite 100
Memphis, TN 38108

901-435-8550

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1211 Union
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1211 Union

1211 Union Avenue, Suite 965
Memphis, TN 38104

901-435-8550

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery North
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery North

3950 New Covington Pike, Suite 290
Memphis, TN 38128

901-383-8232

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1251 Wesley
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 1251 Wesley

1251 Wesley Drive, Suite 153
Memphis, TN 38116

901-435-8550

Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Midtown
Methodist Medical Group - Cardiovascular Surgery Midtown

1325 Eastmoreland Ave., Suite 365
Memphis, TN 38104

901-272-6030

UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 900 N. 7th
UT Methodist Physicians Cardiology - 900 N. 7th

900 N. 7th Street
West Memphis, AR 72301

901-435-8550

Methodist North Hospital
Methodist North Hospital

3960 New Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128

901-516-5200

Methodist University Hospital
Methodist University Hospital

1265 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104

901-516-7000

Methodist Olive Branch Hospital
Methodist Olive Branch Hospital

4250 Bethel Rd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654

662-932-9000

Methodist South Hospital
Methodist South Hospital

1300 Wesley Dr.
Memphis, TN 38116

901-516-3700

Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital
Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital

7691 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138

901-516-6000