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All You Need to Know about Coronary Artery Diseases

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August 01st, 2013

Coronary artery disease or CAD is the major cause of fatalities in the US due to diseases. And the fact that CAD is starts developing early and may not be noticed until the later stages, this adds to the dreadfulness of the disease.

Causes of CAD

The major cause of CAD is atherosclerosis or the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels. Plaque is a waxy cholesterol containing substance, which accumulates in the coronary artery. The building of the plaque narrows down the coronary arteries, which results in their hardening up and rupturing, leading to blood clots. This finally results in partial or complete blocking of the blood flow.

CAD may not only cause heart attack, but it may even result in heart failure and arrhythmias. Heart attack is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the various organs of the body while arrhythmia is concerned with the irregular beating of the heart. Here are the main risk factors for CAD –

  • Age – With age, the plaque that has accumulated in the linings of the coronary artery start choking the heart by limiting supply of essential nutrients and oxygen.

 

  • Smoking – Cigarette smoke and tobacco contain carbon monoxide and nicotine that have damaging effect on the inner lining of the arteries.

 

  • Gender – Although men are at a higher risk of acquiring CAD as compared to women, post menopause women are equally exposed to developing the disease.

 

  • Genetics – People with a family history of heart diseases are at a much higher risk of developing CAD.

 

  • Other factors – Factors such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and radiation therapy also increase the risk of developing CAD.


Difference between Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Although both the terms sound similar and are frequently used interchangeably, there is a difference between these two. The main differentiating factor between these two is that while coronary heart disease is a general term that represents heart diseases caused by plaque build up, coronary artery disease is concerned with the build up of plaque particularly in the coronary artery. To be specific, coronary heart disease results from coronary artery disease.

Restricted blood flow is caused by the excessive build up of plaque in the coronary artery. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can keep heart diseases at bay. We at Florida Heart Group have advanced facilities for diagnosis and treatment of CAD. Never take lightly any symptom of CAD and get yourself diagnosed to ensure a healthy heart.