What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Find trusted resources on how to keep yourself heart healthy and how to prevent CAD.
About Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) happens when plaque builds up on the inner walls of your coronary arteries. This causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which decreases blood flow to your heart. As a result, your heart doesn’t get the blood, oxygen and nutrients it needs, and can cause chest pain. In some cases, it can lead to a heart attack.
Who’s at Risk for Coronary Artery Disease?
Smoking, “bad” cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and physical inactivity are major contributors to coronary artery disease (CAD). In the United States, rates of hospitalization and mortality as a result of CAD have increased for non-Caucasians but decreased for Caucasians.
Black men have the highest incidence of heart attacks out of all ethnicities regardless of age1
8 out of 10 heart attacks are considered to be preventable2
Manage Your Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for certain disease states due to your race, ethnicity and gender – but these factors shouldn’t stand in the way of receiving appropriate care. You can help protect your and your family’s health and lower your risk for CAD with simple lifestyle changes.
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
CAD often develops and progresses in silence, over many years. You may not have symptoms, and people often don’t discover there’s a problem until there is major blockage. This is why it’s so important to go the doctor regularly and discuss your concerns, especially if you’re symptomatic or if heart problems are part of your family history.
What to watch for
|Chest pains or pressure, called angina|
|Fatigue (feeling extremely tired)|
|Pain that spreads to the arms or jaw|
|Shortness of breath|
How Coronary Artery Disease is Diagnosed
Check your risk. Could You Have CAD? Catching CAD early can make all the difference in treating it and keeping you healthy. It’s important to find a doctor who takes the time to listen to you and makes you feel like you’re being taken seriously. They’re on your team and have your best interest at heart. The results from this risk assessment can set the stage for a productive conversation with your healthcare team.
Coronary Artery Disease Treatment
Coronary artery disease (CAD) may be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes, exercise, diet and medical treatment. It’s important that you talk with a doctor you trust about which treatment that’s right for you.
Resources & Research
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Boston Scientific talked to patients around the country to find out what resources would be most helpful and designed this resource page with your needs in mind.
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Learn About Diversity in Clinical Trials
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1,2 American heart Association (2019). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2019 update.