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Coronary Artery Disease

Health    Coronary Artery Disease
Also called: CAD, Coronary arteriosclerosis, Coronary atherosclerosis
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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women.

CAD happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This is due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls. This buildup is called atherosclerosis. As it grows, less blood can flow through the arteries. As a result, the heart muscle can't get the blood or oxygen it needs. This can lead to chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. Most heart attacks happen when a blood clot suddenly cuts off the hearts' blood supply, causing permanent heart damage.

Over time, CAD can also weaken the heart muscle and contribute to heart failure and arrhythmias. Heart failure means the heart can't pump blood well to the rest of the body. Arrhythmias are changes in the normal beating rhythm of the heart.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

The following features are indicative of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • angina
  • shortness of breath
  • heart attack

Common Causes of Coronary Artery Disease

The following are the most common causes of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • cigarette smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol levels
  • diabetes or insulin resistance
  • sedentary lifestyle

Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • older age
  • being men
  • family history of any cardiac disorders
  • excess smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • being diabetic
  • overweight or obesity
  • excess weight
  • physical inactivity
  • high stress

Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Coronary Artery Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • maintain healthy lifestyle
  • eat heart-healthy diet
  • manage stress
  • be physically active
  • quit smoking

Occurrence of Coronary Artery Disease

Degree of Occurrence

The following are the number of Coronary Artery Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Coronary Artery Disease most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Coronary Artery Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Coronary Artery Disease:
  • Electrocardiogram: Reveals evidence of a previous heart attack or one that is in progress
  • Echocardiogram: To produce images of your heart
  • Stress test: If your signs and symptoms occur most often during exercise, your doctor may ask you to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during an ECG
  • Cardiac catheterization or angiogram: To view blood flow through your heart

Doctor for Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • Cardiologist

Complications of Coronary Artery Disease if Untreated

Yes, Coronary Artery Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Coronary Artery Disease is left untreated:
  • chest pain
  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • arrhythmia

Procedures for Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Coronary Artery Disease:
  • Angioplasty and stent placement: To help keep the artery open
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery: To bypass blocked coronary arteries using a vessel from another part of body

Medicines for Coronary Artery Disease

Below is the list of medicines used for Coronary Artery Disease:

Self-care for Coronary Artery Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • Stop smoking: Helps to reduce risk of heart attack
  • Keep diabetes under control: Helps reducing risk of coronary artery disease
  • Keep blood pressure under control: Helps to reduce risk of heart attack
  • Keep cholesterol under control: Helps to reduce risk of heart attack
  • Exercise regularly: Helps to reduce risk of heart attack
  • Eat healthy foods: Helps in controlling weight, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Helps to reduce risk of heart attack

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Coronary Artery Disease:
  • Intake fish oil supplements: Helps in reducing inflammation in the body
  • Use flax and flaxseed oil: Helps in lowering blood cholesterol

Patient Support for Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

The following actions may help Coronary Artery Disease patients:
  • Education, counseling, and training: Helps to reduce risk for future heart problems
  • Exercise training: Helps you learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your muscles, and improve your stamina

Time for Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Coronary Artery Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 3 - 6 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 11/18/2018.
This page provides information for Coronary Artery Disease.