What Exactly is Coronary Artery Disease?

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Filed Under: Heart Health, Circulation
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

You may have heard of the term atherosclerosis, which refers to the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Well, essentially, coronary artery isease is a form of atherosclerosis that affects What is coronary artery diseasethe arteries leading to the heart.

As plaque in the coronary arteries builds up and blockages grow, the level of oxygen and nutrients provided to the heart decreases, limiting the heart’s effectiveness. Should an artery become blocked completely—due to plaque buildup or the inability of a clot to pass through the narrowed opening—a heart attack results.

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 16,800,000 people in the United States have coronary artery disease. It’s the leading killer among both men and women and about 82 percent of those who die from coronary artery disease are over age 65.

How do you know if you have coronary artery disease? Shortness of breath and angina (chest pain) are typical symptoms reported. However, up to 50 percent of the time, the first symptom of disease is sudden cardiac-related death. Talk to your doctor if you have circulatory problems in other parts of your body, as they can sometimes be a warning that poor blood circulation through the coronary arteries is becoming a problem as well.

For more advice on coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular problems, visit www.drsinatra.com.
 

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