What is Coronary Artery Disease : CAD

coronary artery disease develops when the coronary arteries become damaged or diseased. It is the most cause of major illnesses and deaths worldwide. Coronary heart diseases normally happens when fatty deposits called cholesterol accumulate on the artery walls, creating plaques. The arteries are tightening, making it difficult for blood to flow to the heart.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

When a myocardial infarction strikes the blood supply to the cardiac muscle it is suddenly restricted and starved for oxygen. These muscles begin to die and within a minute are unable to keep the heart beating. The cause of this life-threatening attack is the obstruction of a coronary artery by a blood clot resulting in most cases from atherosclerosis which in the coronary artery is called coronary artery disease or CAD.

In patients with CAD atherosclerosis can begin to develop decades before symptoms arrive. Since atherosclerotic plaques grow slowly. When plaque ruptures and a blood clot forms the threat of a vascular event becomes very real. Clots consist of activated platelets stabilized by fibrin strands

While activated platelets aggregate to seal the rupture site fibrin formation which is triggered by the coagulation cascade.

Signs and symptoms

When your coronary arteries are narrow, they are unable to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart, especially when it is hard, like during exercise. At first, a decrease in blood flow may not cause symptoms. If plaque remains in the coronary artery, the following signs and symptoms of coronary disease may occur

  • Chest pain or discomfort (angina)
  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • A cold sweat
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath

Over time, CAD can weaken the heart muscle. This may lead to heart failure, a serious condition where the heart can`t pump blood the way it should.

Diagnosis

  1. ECG or EKG (electrocardiogram). – Measures the electric activity, rate, and regularity of the heartbeat.
  2. Echocardiogram. – Uses ultrasound (special sound wave) to create a picture of the heart.
  3. Exercise stress test. – Measures your heart rate while you walk on a treadmill. This helps to determine how well your heart is working when it has to pump more blood.
  4. Chest X-Ray. – Uses X-Rays to create the picture of the heart, lungs and organs in the chest.
  5. Cardiac catheterization. – Checks the inside of your arteries for blockage by inserting a thin, flexible tube through an artery in the groin, arm, or neck to reach the heart.
  6. Coronary angiogram. – Monitors blockage and flow of blood through the coronary arteries. Uses X-Rays to detect dye injected via cardiac catheterization.

Coronary artery calcium scan. – A computed tomography (CT) scan that looks in the coronary arteries for calcium buildup and plaque.

Causes and Risk Factors

CAD can be caused even by genetics certain mutations in the genes are linked to it. But mostly, this disease is due to unhealthy lifestyle habits.

  • Modifiable risk factors-
  1. High blood cholesterol
  2. Cigarette smoking, alcohol
  3. Hypertension
  4. Diabetes mellitus
  5. Physical inactivity, obesity
  6. Stress
  • Non-Modifiable risk factors-
  1. Family history of CAD
  2. Increasing age
  3. Gender
  4. Autoimmune disease

Prevention and treatments

Preventing coronary artery disease:

  1. Lifestyle. It plays a role in preventing coronary disease as part of a treatment strategy to avoid future problems, i.e., changing many factors under your control such as stress reduction and non-smoking.
  2. Diet and exercise
  3. Medications. Medications can be prescribed to manage risk factors for coronary diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes and diabetes.
  4. Reducing the amount of fat
  5. Reducing the amount of sugar and sweet

Therefore, can reduce the traditional risk factors in terms of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is a preventable disease.

Conclusion

The perspectives of each of us are different for Coronary Artery Disease. Before treatment or lifestyle change is initiated, you have a better chance of preventing serious heart damage. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions. Administer the drug as directed and make the lifestyle changes as been suggested. If you are at a higher risk of CAD, you can help prevent this disease by reducing the risk factors.

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