Living with Coronary Microvascular Disease.

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 05, 2013

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If you have coronary microvascular disease (MVD), you can take steps to stop it from getting worse.

Coronary MVD, like traditional coronary heart disease, increases your risk of a heart attack. If you have signs and symptoms of a heart attack for more than 5 minutes, you should call 9–1–1.


These signs and symptoms may include chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, and nausea (feeling sick to your stomach).


Ongoing Care

If you have coronary MVD, see your doctor regularly to make sure the disease isn't getting worse. Work with your doctor to keep track of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. This will help your doctor adjust your treatment, if needed.

You may need to see a cardiologist (heart specialist) in addition to your primary care doctor. Talk with your doctor about how often you should schedule office visits or blood tests. Between those visits, call your doctor if you develop any new symptoms or your symptoms worsen.


You should:

  • Know your symptoms and how and when to seek medical help.
  • Be able to describe the usual pattern of your symptoms.
  • Know which medicines you take and when and how to take them.
  • Know how to control your symptoms, including angina.
  • Know the limits of your physical activity.
  • Learn ways to avoid or cope with stress.

Warning Signs

It's important to learn the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Call 9–1–1 if you have these symptoms for more than 5 minutes:

  • Chest pain or discomfort—uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, or pain in the center of the chest that can be mild or strong. This discomfort or pain lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen, or back.
  • Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort.
  • Nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

Acting fast at the first sign of heart attack symptoms can save your life and limit damage to your heart. Treatment is most effective when started within 1 hour of the beginning of symptoms.


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