Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a common type of heart disease. It occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, become hardened and narrowed due to the buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis). This restricts blood flow to the heart, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients.
Key points about CAD include:
- Risk Factors: Several factors contribute to the development of CAD, including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and family history of heart disease.
- Symptoms: CAD can manifest in various ways, including chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, and even heart attack (myocardial infarction).
- Diagnosis: CAD is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, and diagnostic tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG), stress tests, echocardiogram, coronary angiography, or cardiac CT scan.
- Treatment: Treatment strategies for CAD aim to alleviate symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and improve overall heart health. This may involve lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing underlying conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Additionally, medications such as statins, aspirin, beta-blockers, and nitroglycerin may be prescribed. In more severe cases, procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement or coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow to the heart.
- Prevention: Preventive measures are crucial in reducing the risk of developing CAD. These include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing risk factors, regular health check-ups, and adhering to prescribed medications.
CAD is a serious condition that requires ongoing management and lifestyle modifications to prevent complications and improve quality of life. Early detection and intervention are key to managing CAD effectively and reducing the risk of heart-related events.