Coronary Artery Disease: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease also called as coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease which affects many individuals throughout the country. This occurs due to the build-up of plaque (cholesterol deposits) in the coronary arteries (blood vessels which supply oxygen and blood to heart). The arteries, which will be smooth and elastic, become narrow and rigid, restricting blood flow to the heart and thus the heart cannot pump properly as it becomes devoid of oxygen and the vital nutrients. Coronary heart disease commonly causes angina pectoris (chest pain), shortness of breath, heart attack (myocardial infarction) and other symptoms.

CAD Overview image

Recovery Time

Coronary artery disease is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have coronary artery disease, it is important to take good care of your heart for the rest of your life by certain lifestyle changes and, if necessary, drugs and certain medical procedures.


 Diagnosis is done based on the physical exam, medical and family history and some tests like
  • ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise Stress Test
  • Coronary catheterization or angiogram
  • CT (computerized tomography) scan
  • MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram)
  • Nuclear ventriculography
  • Blood tests

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Coronary artery disease?
  • Coronary heart disease / Atherosclerotic heart disease / Ischemic heart disease is a chronic disease of the heart, caused due to deposition of cholesterol  into the endothelium (lining)  of the blood vessels supplying the heart.
  • Cholesterol deposition leads to narrowing or complete obstruction of blood flow to the heart which leads to heart attack.
Q2.  How do I get Coronary Artery disease?
It takes many years of high cholesterol in blood for the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Smoking, Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, Sedentary lifestyle accelerates the deposition of cholesterol.  Women are at less risk than men due protective effects of oestrogen hormone.

Q3.  What is the treatment for Coronary Artery disease?
Control of Diabetes, hypertension, Cessation of smoking, regular exercise and lipid lowering drugs are the mainstay in the treatment of CAD. 

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
Adequate measure to control the risk factors arrests the progression of the disease into complete block the coronary vessels. Regular exercise and proper medication gradually resolves the cholesterol deposition and make the vessel more patent. 

Q5.  How do I prevent Coronary artery disease?
You can prevent CAD by following a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and regular aerobic exercise. Quit smoking. Reduce weight. Control Diabetes and Hypertension adequately. 

Q6.  What are the complications of Coronary artery disease?
CAD leads to heart attack and death.

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