WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE

WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE

Coronary artery disease starts when the lining of a coronary artery is damaged. Having one or more risk factors, such as smoking or high blood cholesterol, can speed up and worsen this damage. Over time, plaque (a fatty material composed of cholesterol and other particles) builds up within the artery wall. This buildup (called atherosclerosis) narrows the space inside the artery. It also makes artery walls less able to expand. At times when the heart needs more oxygen, the increased demand for blood cannot be met. This can lead to angina.

WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE (CAD)?

Heart disease is a result of plaque buildup in blood vessles of the heart (coronary arteries) – a condition called atherosclerosis — that leads to blockages. The blood vessles of the heart (coronary arteries) which is smooth and elastic become narrow and rigid, restricting blood flow to the heart. The heart starves of oxygen and the vital nutrients to pump properly and angina (chest pain) or heart attack occurs. At times when the heart needs more oxygen (for eg: while walking, playing or during any exertion) the increase demand for blood cannot be supplied which leads to angina (chest pain) and breathlessness on exertion (dyspnea on exertion).

Signs of CAD

One suspects CAD based on symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Examination and test results may also confirm certain factors that make heart disease more likely.

WHAT IS ANGINA?

Angina is described as a painful, heavy or tight feeling in or near the chest. But the symptoms vary from person to person. Some people feel angina in the arm,back,neck, throat or jaw.

Sweating and breathlessness may also occur along with thesesymptoms. Angina is a common sign of CAD.