Coronary Artery Disease is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked, leading to decreased blood flow to the heart. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for coronary artery disease.
Several factors can increase the risk of developing CAD, including:
Age: Risk increases as you get older.
Gender: Men are generally at a higher risk than women, but women's risk increases after menopause.
Family history: If a close family member had CAD, you may have an increased risk.
High blood pressure (hypertension): Consistently high blood pressure can damage your arteries.
High cholesterol: Elevated levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol increase your risk.
Smoking: Smoking damages your blood vessels and increases the risk of CAD.
Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels.
Obesity: Excess weight can increase your risk of CAD.
Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can contribute to CAD.
10.Stress: High levels of stress may raise your risk for CAD.
CAD may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. However, as the disease progresses, a patient may may experience:
Chest pain (angina): A feeling of pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the chest, often triggered by physical activity or stress.
Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing during activity or at rest.
Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak.
Dizziness or lightheadedness: May occur during physical exertion
The diagnosis of coronary artery disease entails
Physical examination: Evaluation of a patient’s medical history, risk factors, and symptoms.
Blood tests: Measurements of cholesterol, blood sugar, and other markers.
Electrocardiogram (ECG): A non-invasive test that records the electrical activity of your heart.
Echocardiogram: An ultrasound of the heart to assess its function and structure.
Stress test: Assessment of ones heart's function during physical activity.
Coronary angiography: An X-ray examination of a patients coronary arteries using a contrast dye to detect blockages.
Treatment for CAD focuses on reducing symptoms, managing risk factors, and preventing complications. A cardiologist may recommend,
Lifestyle changes: Eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and managing stress.
Medications: Drugs to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar, blood thinners and medication to control angina.
Percutaneous coronary intervention: A minimally invasive procedure to open up blocked arteries using a balloon-tipped catheter and placement of a small metal mesh tube (stent) within the artery to keep it open after ballooning.
Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG): A surgical procedure to create a new route for blood flow around a blocked artery using a healthy blood vessel harvested from the chest wall or another part of the body.
CAD is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. We encourage making lifestyle changes and regular risk factor screening to reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease.