What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when the coronary arteries (the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart) become clogged with plaque or begin to harden. The buildup of plaque in coronary arteries makes it difficult for blood to get to your heart, causing significant chest discomfort, also known as angina. This chest discomfort can manifest as tightness, heaviness, or pain. In addition to chest discomfort, CAD can cause:
- Shortness of Breath
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CAD is both the most abundant form of heart disease and one of the leading causes of death in adults around the world. It causes heart attacks and even sudden death from significant blockages.
What Causes Coronary Artery Disease?
Genetics play a role in the development of CAD, and those with a family history of it are at a much greater risk of developing it. Other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can also increase your likelihood of CAD. Age is another important factor, with men over age 45 and women over age 55 at a greater risk.
Additionally, external factors that can damage arteries may also lead to the development of CAD, including:
- Alcohol Abuse
- Poor Eating Habits
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Significant Stress
How Middle Georgia Heart Can Help
Patient care is a central focus at MGH, particularly when dealing with the severity of coronary artery disease. Our team takes a comprehensive approach to your care in order to better treat your specific condition. We begin by obtaining an accurate diagnosis to confirm coronary artery disease or some other cardiovascular condition through expertly administered in-office tests including electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), angiogram, stress test, or echocardiogram. Additionally, we offer advice and direction for lifestyle changes to help you with your coronary artery disease.