Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a disease that develops over time when the arteries become damaged or diseased. As the arteries become damaged, the injured areas are filled with cholesterol-containing deposits of plaque and become inflamed. As the plaque continues to build up in the coronary arteries, the arteries begin to narrow which causes a decrease in blood flow to the heart. As the blood flow progressively decreases, it can lead to many symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and eventually a heart attack or heart failure.
It is estimated that 370,000 people die from coronary artery disease in the U.S. each year, which is why it is so important to know the signs and symptoms of the disease and how it progresses.
Signs And Symptoms Of Coronary Artery Disease
When coronary arteries begin to narrow, they can no longer supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. There may not be any signs or symptoms when the blood flow begins to decrease, but as plaque continues to build up in the arteries, symptoms may start to arise.
Some of the symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain (angina), which can be pressure or tightness in the chest that is triggered by physical or emotional stress, shortness of breath, and a completely blocked coronary artery that can result in a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack include pressure in the chest, pain in the shoulder or arm, shortness of breath, and sweating.
Now that you know the signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease continue reading to discover what can cause it.