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About Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by atherosclerosis (also called "hardening of the arteries") by plaque building up on the lining of an artery. Plaque is a waxy substance made of cholesterol, fibrin, and calcium. Coronary artery disease can be an ongoing, progressive disease. As more and more plaque builds up in an artery, partial or total blockage of blood flow in the artery will occur. Atherosclerosis can occur anywhere in the coronary circulation.

What are the symptoms of CAD?
Symptoms of CAD result from a shortage of blood flow to the heart muscle. The most common symptoms of CAD are chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure or shortness of breath.

How do you develop CAD?
Several risk factors (see below) have been identified that influence CAD or at what rate it develops. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance for developing heart disease.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of Regular Exercise
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Family History
  • Increasing Age
  • Gender
  • Race

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