Acute Coronary Syndromes
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of ill health in Australia. Within CVD, acute coronary syndromes (ACS) causes approximately 90 000 hospitalisations per year and this figure is expected to grow.
What is acute coronary syndromes (ACS)?
Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) is a term used for conditions brought on by sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart.
Reduced blood flow to the heart can occur when there is a partial or complete blockage of the coronary arteries. These blockages are caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries that deliver blood to the heart or by the formation of blood clots (thrombus) in the arteries.
Heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina (sudden heart-related chest pain) are types of ACS.
The effects of ACS can be life-long, and in some cases can be fatal.
People with ACS are at higher risk of recurrent heart attacks or further unstable angina episodes after their first experience of such an event.
The incidence of ACS continues to increase due to an ageing population and rising level of diabetes and obesity.