Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease in adults and the leading cause of heart attacks. The central cause of the disease is a build-up of plaque along the inside walls of the body’s arteries, which ultimately reduces blood flow to the heart. Many individuals develop coronary heart disease without symptoms, and frequently the first sign is a sudden heart attack.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease include aging, smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, and often has a genetic component, especially among men. Diagnosis of coronary artery disease can be done through the use of electrocardiogram, blood tests, stress tests, or even a coronary angiogram. Treatment, depending upon severity, may include medication, angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass surgery.
Chest pain that occurs regularly following activity, or even after a heavy meal, is known as angina, and is a leading sign of coronary artery disease. There are well-known risk factors for developing coronary artery disease, the most common being a lack of exercise, smoking and obesity. Family history also plays an important role in determining one’s risk for coronary artery disease. Diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Consuming trans fats, however, increases one’s risk.