might know coronary artery disease by one of its other names:
atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries”, or heart
disease. Atherosclerosis refers to deposits on the walls of coronary
and other major arteries, which are made up of fatty substances
(primarily cholesterol) and muscle and connective tissue cells.
all adults have at least some atherosclerosis. When the condition is
not controlled, it can lead to a myocardial infarction (heart
attack) or another life-threatening event.
many years, atherosclerotic deposits grow. They can eventually cause
the arteries to become narrower and less flexible, which reduces the
amount of blood able to flow through. And the deposits themselves
can actually rupture, leading to a blood clot and blockage in the
in two people over 65 have symptoms caused by coronary artery
disease, such as shortness of breath, leg cramps, chest pain or
abnormalities in their heartbeat. Even if someone has no specific
symptoms a physician may suspect a problem exists for example,
if the person’s blood cholesterol level is high.
you have been told you have coronary artery disease, your treatment
may well include drugs or therapies designed to prevent or treat any
symptoms you might have, such as chest pain when you exercise. Even
if you have no symptoms, you may also be asked to take certain
precautions to reduce the likelihood you will have problems later
recommended that everyone at risk for coronary artery disease, or
who already has it, make changes to their lifestyle, such as
doctor may prescribe a diet or exercise program for you to follow or
may refer you to another health care specialist such as a dietitian.
people with coronary artery disease also must take medication
their blood cholesterol level
their blood pressure (high blood pressure can also contribute to
the likelihood of blood clots
studies have shown that these preventive measures are very effective
ways to reduce your risk of having a heart attack, as well as stroke
and other cardiovascular problems.