Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD), or coronary heart disease, is a condition that develops when the major blood vessels (coronary arteries) that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients become damaged or diseased. A waxy substance called plaque forms when the accumulation of fatty deposits build up along the innermost layer of the coronary arteries. When plaque builds up, it narrows the coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to the heart. Reduced blood flow can cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. Eventually, blocked blood flow to the heart muscle causes a heart attack
Because CAD often develops over decades, you might not notice a problem until you have a major blockage or a heart attack. However, there's plenty you can do to prevent and treat CAD. A healthy lifestyle can make a significant impact.
Risk factors
  • Smoking
  • High LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides levels, and low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Physical inactivity
  • High saturated fat diet
  • Stress
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and detects heart muscle damage.
  • Stress test (also called treadmill or exercise ECG) is given while a patient walks on a treadmill to monitor the heart during exercise. Breathing and blood pressure rates are also monitored.
  • Cardiac catheterization. With this procedure, X-rays are taken after a contrast agent is injected into an artery to locate the narrowing, occlusions, and other abnormalities of specific arteries.
  • Nuclear scanning. Radioactive material is injected into a vein and then is observed using a camera as it is taken up by the heart muscle. This indicates the healthy and damaged areas of the heart.
Treatment goals include:
  • Lowering the risk of blood clots forming (blood clots can cause a heart attack)
  • Preventing complications of coronary heart disease
  • Reducing risk factors to slow, stop, or reverse the buildup of plaque
  • Relieving symptoms
  • Widening or bypassing clogged arteries
  • Responsible for about 370,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
  • Over 16 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease
  • Someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds in the U.S.
heart CAD hub

  • "Coronary Artery Disease Overview." Coronary Artery Disease - Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)." Coronary Artery Disease: Causes, Diagnosis & Prevention | CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease." Coronary Heart Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "What Is Coronary Heart Disease?" National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 June 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "FDA Approves First Absorbable Stent for Coronary Artery Disease." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. N.p., 6 July 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.


The statistics associated with heart disease are staggering. Fortunately, there are many preventative measures people can take to avoid facing cardiovascular complications in their lifetime. In fact, professionals insist that 80 percent of heart disease-related deaths are preventable.To commemorate American Heart Month (February), an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of heart health, all of us here at healtheo360 are offering some tips on how you can be heart healthy. Here are three tips to lower your risk of heart disease:

understanding cardiology and heart disease



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