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What is Ischemia?



My mother was told that she has a condition called Ischemia. What is this and what are the implications? What does this mean for her and how serious is it. She smokes also.


Ischemia refers to a condition where a body organ or tissue is not receiving enough oxygenated blood. Technically, it can refer to any organ, although it is most commonly associated with heart disease, and is usually caused by blockages in the arteries that lead to the heart. Smoking is definitely a risk factor for the development of cardiac ischemia, and she should strongly consider quitting for this as well as many other reasons. Although cardiac ischemia is technically outside the scope of this Expert Area, I can safely say that cardiac ischemia can be a very serious condition, but that in many cases it can be controlled through proper means, medical and otherwise. Your mother’s physician should be able to give you more details that are relevant to her particular condition.

For more information:

Go to the Lung diseases health topic.