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Key Information About Coronary Artery Disease

Updated on November 29, 2022
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is also known as coronary heart disease (CHD), or simply, heart disease. It is a condition which affects the arteries that supply the heart with blood.

CVDs are the number one cause of death globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31 percent of all global deaths.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in the arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

CAD develops as a result of injury or damage to the inner layer of a coronary artery. This damage causes fatty deposits of plaque to build up at the injury site.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

The ideal blood cholesterol level for you depends on your age, gender, and history of heart disease, but for most people with coronary artery disease, the target LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or below, and the target HDL cholesterol level is above 40 mg/dL for men, and above 50 mg/dL for women.


Risk factors include obesity, hypertension, high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), smoking, sleep apnea, diabetes, inactivity, unhealthy eating habits, emotional stress, excessive consumption of alcohol and history of preeclampsia during pregnancy.

Coronary plaque buildup may progress more quickly in patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes, according to research results published in Clinical Cardiology and presented at the 3rd Annual Heart in Diabetes Conference, held July 12 to 14, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"Ethnic-wise, South Asians especially Indians are more vulnerable to have coronary artery disease (CAD) at the young age with a prevalence of 10-15 %," said Dr Upendra Bhalerao, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai, said.

Black adults are at significantly higher risk (1.6-2.4 times) for cardiovascular disease than white adults.


The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina (also called angina pectoris). Angina is chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood.

Other symptoms include indigestion, heartburn, weakness, sweating, nausea, cramping, and shortness of breath.


Myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), arrhythmia, heart failure and stroke are among several serious complications of coronary artery disease.


Diagnostic tests include ECG, echocardiogram, exercise stress tests, electron beam (ultrafast) CT scans and cardiac catheterization.

Coronary CTA assessed by machine learning was able to better distinguish patients who had an adverse event compared with the Coronary Artery Disease Reporting and Data System, or CAD-RADS, and other scores, according to a study published in Radiology.

In March 2022, a team of research scientists led by Mayo Clinic created an artificial intelligence computer-based algorithm that can use voice biomarkers to locate clogged arteries, helping clinicians detect heart conditions.

“This technology is using machine learning to quantify something that isn’t easily quantifiable for us using our human brains and our human ears,” said Jaskanwal Deep Singh Sara, MD, a cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic and the study’s lead author.


Treatment for coronary artery disease can help manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of further problems.

Nitrates, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, aspirin, or cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) are used to slow the disease progress or ease symptoms.

In fact if your goal is to actually reverse this disease, medications will likely include high-dose statins.

Treatment may also require surgical intervention, such as with angioplasty, stent replacement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.

A small 2019 study found that people with diffuse CAD had better outcomes with surgery than with medication.

Lifestyle modifications usually include ceasing smoking (if you smoke), minimizing alcohol use, exercising, reducing your salt intake, and maintaining a moderate weight.


Do not smoke. Keep your blood pressure between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. Eat healthy, natural food. Include foods rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene in your diet.

Avoid processed foods, white flour, sugars, and high fructose corn syrup. Do yoga daily. Asanas like Dradhasana promote heart health.

Avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases the level of bad cholesterol in the blood which eventually leads to an increase in blood pressure. And an increase in blood pressure increases the risk of coronary artery disease.

Almonds Contain Vitamin E


Do you practice yoga?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


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