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Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease (CAD), is characterized by the accumulation of fatty deposits along the innermost layer of the coronary arteries. The fatty deposits may develop in childhood and continue to thicken and enlarge throughout the life span. This thickening, called atherosclerosis, narrows the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.

Risk factors for CAD often include:

  • Smoking
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High triglycerides levels
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High saturated fat diet
  • Diabetes

Controlling risk factors is the key to preventing illness and death from CAD.

Symptoms of coronary artery disease may include:

  • Heaviness
  • Tightness
  • Pressure
  • Pain in the chest behind the breastbone
  • Pain radiating in the arms, shoulders, jaw, neck, and/or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for coronary artery disease may include an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG); stress test (also called treadmill or exercise ECG); cardiac catheterization or nuclear scanning.

Treatments include modification of risk factors, use of medications and in some cases, procedures such as coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass.

Previous Page Last Review Date: August 14, 2019
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Team
Richard Faro, MD, FACS

Richard Faro, MD, FACS

Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery
Palm Beach Gardens 33410
Brijeshwar Maini, MD, FACC

Brijeshwar Maini, MD, FACC

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484, Palm Beach Gardens 33410, Lauderdale Lakes 33313, West Palm Beach 33409
Ida Mazza, MD, FACC

Ida Mazza, MD, FACC

Cardiology
West Palm Beach 33401, Palm Beach Gardens 33410
Joseph Motta, MD, FACS

Joseph Motta, MD, FACS

Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery
Palm Beach Gardens 33410