Ischemic heart disease occurs when the cardiac arteries have narrowed, which results in less blood and oxygen flowing to the heart muscle. This condition sometimes leads to a heart attack, states the American Heart Association.
Ischemia is often characterised by chest pain or discomfort, a condition doctors call angina pectoris. However, silent ischemia, in which the victim has no pain or discomfort, also occurs. Diabetics or previous heart attack victims are especially at risk for silent ischemia, the American Heart Association states.
One of the tests used to diagnose ischemic heart disease is an exercise stress test. Additionally, the patient sometimes wears a Holter monitor, a battery-operated device that measures and records the electrocardiogram over a period of about 24 to 48 hours, the American Heart Association explains.