Coronary Artery Disease


What is coronary artery disease? Coronary artery disease (CAD) is narrowing of the arteries to your heart caused by a buildup of plaque. Plaque is made up of cholesterol and other substances. The narrowing in your arteries decreases the amount of blood that can flow to your heart. This causes your heart to get less oxygen.

What increases my risk for CAD?

What are the signs and symptoms of CAD? You may not have any symptoms of CAD. The most common symptom is chest pain, also called angina. Angina may feel like burning, squeezing, or crushing tightness in your chest. The pain may spread to your neck, jaw, or shoulder blade. You may have other symptoms along with chest pain. These include nausea, vomiting, sweating, fainting, and hands and feet that are cold to the touch.

How is CAD diagnosed? Your healthcare provider will ask you if you have a family history of CAD. He will also ask about your symptoms and about the medicines you are taking. You may need any of the following:

Which medicines are used to treat CAD?

Which procedures are used to treat CAD?

What is cardiac rehabilitation? Your healthcare provider may recommend that you attend cardiac rehabilitation (rehab). This is a program run by specialists who will help you safely strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of more heart disease. The plan includes exercise, relaxation, stress management, and heart-healthy nutrition. Healthcare providers will also check to make sure any medicines you are taking are working.

How can I manage CAD?

Call 911 for any of the following signs of a heart attack:

When should I contact my healthcare provider?


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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