Coronary artery disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as ischemic heart disease.
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as ischemic heart disease, is a condition that occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, become narrowed or blocked. Here’s an overview of its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment:
Coronary artery disease , also known as ischemic heart disease
Coronary artery disease , also known as ischemic heart disease, is a condition that occurs when the coronary arteries

Causes:

The main cause of coronary artery disease is the buildup of plaque in the inner walls of the coronary arteries. Plaque consists of cholesterol, fatty deposits, calcium, and other substances. Over time, this buildup narrows the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart. The following factors contribute to the development of CAD:

High cholesterol levels, especially LDL (“bad”) cholesterol

High blood pressure

Smoking

Obesity

Diabetes

Sedentary lifestyle

Family history of heart disease

Age (risk increases with age)

Symptoms:

The symptoms of coronary artery disease can vary. Some individuals may experience no symptoms, while others may have:

Chest pain or discomfort (angina):

Typically described as a heaviness, pressure, squeezing, or burning sensation in the chest. The pain may radiate to the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, or back.

Shortness of breath:

Particularly during physical activity or exertion.

Fatigue:

Unusual tiredness or lack of energy.

Heart attack:

Sudden, intense chest pain, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath may indicate a heart attack, a severe complication of CAD.

Diagnosis:

To diagnose coronary artery disease, healthcare providers may conduct several tests, including:

Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG):

Records the heart’s electrical activity to detect any abnormalities.

Stress testing:

Measures the heart’s response to physical activity, often done on a treadmill or using medication to simulate exercise.

Coronary angiography:

Invasive procedure where a dye is injected into the coronary arteries to visualize blockages or narrowing.

Cardiac CT scan:

Provides detailed images of the heart to assess the presence and severity of plaque buildup.

Coronary Angiography:

Invasive procedure that provides detailed images of the coronary arteries, allowing for precise evaluation of blockages or narrowings.

Blood tests:

Measure cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and other markers of heart health.

Treatment:

The treatment of coronary artery disease aims to relieve symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and improve overall heart health. Key approaches include:

Lifestyle changes:

Adopting a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, quitting smoking, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Medications:

Healthcare providers may prescribe medications such as aspirin, statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or nitroglycerin to manage symptoms, control blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, or prevent blood clots.

Procedures:

In more severe cases, medical procedures may be necessary, such as angioplasty (using a balloon to widen narrowed arteries) with or without stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to reroute blood flow around blocked arteries.

Cardiac rehabilitation:

This comprehensive program includes exercise training, education, and counseling to support recovery and reduce the risk of future cardiac events.
It’s essential for individuals with symptoms or risk factors for coronary artery disease to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help manage the condition effectively and improve long-term outcomes.

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