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    Coronary Artery Disease

    Health    Coronary Artery Disease
    Also called: CAD, Coronary arteriosclerosis, Coronary atherosclerosis

    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
    References: 1

    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
    References: 2

    Risk Factors of 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 typically worsens other risk factors
    • 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:
    • healthy lifestyle changes
    • eat heart-healthy diet
    • aiming for a healthy weight
    • manage stress
    • be physically active
    • quit smoking
    References: 3

    Occurrence of Coronary Artery Disease.

    Degree of Occurrence

    The following are 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 most commonly occurs in the following gender:
    • Not gender specific
    References: 4

    Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

    The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Coronary Artery Disease:
    • Electrocardiogram: It reveals evidence of a previous heart attack or one that is in progress
    • Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram uses sound waves 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: It is used to view blood flow through your heart
    References: 5, 6

    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
    References: 2

    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
    References: 7

    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
    References: 8

    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
    References: 7

    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
    References: 9

    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
    References: 10

    Questions - Coronary Artery Disease

    One of the biggest treatments for coronary heart disease (CHD) includes heart-healthy lifestyle changes. These changes may include healthy eating, maintaining a certain weight, managing stress, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking. Other treatments include medications, medical procedures, and cardiac rehabilitation. All of these treatments can help lower the risk of complications from CHD, slowing or even reversing the buildup of plaque, and widening or bypassing clogged arteries.
    
    References
    1. Coronary Heart Disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. URL: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-heart-disease Accessed June 17, 2018
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    Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol builds up in arteries. This narrows the space available for blood to flow through the arteries. The heart begins to receive less blood and oxygen. This can lead to chest pain and/or a heart attack.
    
    References
    1. Coronary Artery Disease. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/coronaryarterydisease.html. Accessed 3/18/2018.
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    Coronary artery disease can be prevented by leading a heart-healthy lifestyle, controlling risk factors, and taking certain medicines. Certain risk factors you can control are high cholesterol in your blood, high blood pressure, and obesity. Ways to lead a healthy lifestyle include eating a heart-healthy diet, aiming for a healthy weight, managing stress, partaking in physical activity, and quitting smoking.
    
    Heart-healthy eating means adding fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free dairy products, fish, lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products, legumes, and certain vegetable oils to your diet and limiting sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and alcohol. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks and even trigger serious events such as a heart attack or angina. Learning to control stress in healthy ways such as meditation or talking to friends and family can prevent coronary artery disease.
    
    Moreover, maintaining physical fitness is important in preventing coronary artery disease and routine physical activity and reduction in sedentary lifestyle can help lower many heart disease risk factors such as LDL levels and increasing HDL levels. Physical activity can also control high blood pressure and help lose excess weight. Smoking can raise your risk for coronary artery disease and heart attack and worsen other coronary heart disease risk factors. This is why quitting is such an essential step.
    
    Furthermore, there are smoking cessation programs and products that can help you quit smoking if you choose to do so. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Lastly, certain medications such as a cholesterol-lowering statin drug and a daily low dose aspirin can prevent coronary artery disease.
    
    References
    1. Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, URL: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-heart-disease-risk-factors. Accessed March 13, 2018
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    References

    1. Mayo Clinic Coronary artery disease http://www.Mayo - Accessed: February 20, 2017. Clinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20165314
    2. Mayo Clinic Coronary artery disease http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    3. NIH How To Prevent and Control Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    4. Sanchis-gomar F, Perez-quilis C, Leischik R, Lucia A. Epidemiology of coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndrome. Ann Transl Med. 2016;4(13):256. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    5. NCBI Chapter 5Coronary artery disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    6. Mayo Clinic Coronary artery disease http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    7. Mayo Clinic Coronary artery disease http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    8. Mayo Clinic Coronary artery disease http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    9. NIH How Is Coronary Heart Disease Treated? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    10. NIH What To Expect After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    11. Source: https://medlineplus.gov/coronaryarterydisease.html

    Last updated date

    This page was last updated on 8/06/2018.
    This page provides information for Coronary Artery Disease.