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Coronary Artery Disease
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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow. When your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, oxygen-rich blood can't reach your heart muscle. This can cause angina or a heart attack. CAD is the most common type of heart disease. It's the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. 
 
Read the Detecting Coronary Artery Disease fact sheet and watch the CAD video produced by WomenHeart and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in partnership with CardioDX®.
 
Signs & Symptoms
 
A common symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD) include: 
 
Angina - chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. Emotional stress also can trigger the pain.

Shortness of breath. 
 
However, some people have no signs or symptoms. This is called silent CAD. It may not be diagnosed until a person shows signs and symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia. The severity of these symptoms varies. The symptoms may get more severe as the buildup of plaque continues to narrow the coronary arteries. 

Major risk factors 

High blood cholesterol levels
High blood pressure
Smoking
Insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
Overweight or obesity
Lack of physical activity
Age 
Family history of early heart disease 

Outlook
 
Treatment for CAD may include lifestyle changes, medicines, and medical procedures. Lifestyle changes include following a heart healthy eating plan, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay CAD. You can take action by making lifestyle changes and/or taking medicines as prescribed by your doctor. 
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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the 42 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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