Healthy living

Coronary arteries

The coronary arteries supply the heart with the blood it needs to function effectively.

The left and right coronary arteries receive blood from a major artery (the aorta) and divide many times to give all parts of the heart muscle wall the blood and oxygen it needs.

Coronary heart disease (also known coronary artery disease) is when the coronary arteries become narrowed due to a slow build up of fatty deposits, called 'plaque' or 'atheroma'.

If the arteries become too narrow, less blood is able to reach the heart muscle. This may lead to symptoms such as angina.

If a blood clot forms in the narrow artery and blocks the blood supply to a part of the heart it can cause a heart attack.

Where to get help

  • Always dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance in a medical emergency
  • See your doctor
  • Visit a GP after hours
  • Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222
  • Phone the Heart Foundation’s Health Information Service on 1300 362 787

Remember

  • The coronary arteries supply the heart with the blood it needs to function effectively.
  • coronary heart disease is when the coronary arteries become narrowed due to a slow build up of fatty deposits, called 'plaque' or 'atheroma'.
  • if a blood clot forms in the narrow artery and blocks the blood supply to a part of the heart it can cause a heart attack.

This information provided by

Heart Foundation logo


Acknowledgements

Cardiovascular Health Network

Heart Foundation


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

infographic showing that 70 per cent of Australians do little to no exercise