Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as ischemic heart disease, is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries that can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and even a heart attack. Coronary arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood and nutrients to the heart.

CAD is a result of plaque buildup in the arteries. These fatty deposits diminish the blood flow and damage the arteries. The pressure can rupture the blood vessels and develop blood clots that narrow the arteries even more, eventually leading to heart failure.

Depending on the case, there are multiple ways to treat and prevent CAD. It includes lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery in some cases. Physicians will advise you to quit smoking, eat healthy, limit alcohol consumption, and increase physical activity.

What are the symptoms and risk factors of Coronary Artery Disease?

The leading cause of CAD is the plaque deposited in the artery walls. It can be caused by various factors in every patient like:

  • High cholesterol

  • Smoking

  • Heavy alcohol use

  • Family history of heart diseases

  • High blood pressure

  • Physical inactivity

  • Obesity

You may not see any symptoms in the early stages of CAD, as it takes years for the plaque deposit to develop. When the arteries are narrow, and the blood flow is blocked, you may have common symptoms like:

  • Chest pain (angina)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Pain or discomfort in the limbs, shoulders, back, or jaw

Signs of CAD in women may differ from men. It may include:

  • Heartburn or indigestion

  • Pain in the shoulders, neck, back, or abdomen

  • Swallowing problems

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Aortic dissection

  • Cold sweat

  • Unexplained anxiety

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