Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CHD, CAD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CHD is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. Risk factors for CHD can include age, genetics, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and weight.
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to your heart. THis may also be called "hardening of the arteries." Fatty material and other substances form a plaque buildup on the walls of your coronary arteries. This buildup causes the arteries to narrow and as a result, blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop.
Everyone recovers differently from coronary artery disease. Some people can maintain a healthy lifestyle by changing their diet, quitting smoking and taking medications as prescribed by a doctor. Others may need medical procedures such as angioplasty or surgery. Although everyone is different, early detection of CHD generally results in a better outcome.
While each case is different, a 68-year-old male with a history of CHD, including a heart attack six years ago, can go from a Table D to a Table B!