Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease (CHD), is the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. In CAD, a sticky, fatty substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, causing them to become narrow and stiff. This decreases their ability to carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and can lead to a heart attack.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals provides expert heart and vascular care, including coronary artery disease treatment in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. We also specialize in minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Find a Doctor or take our heart health assessment to find out how to improve your cardiac care.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease develops over a long period of time and does not often show any signs in the early stages. Severe narrowing of the arteries can cause symptoms such as chest pain, heart attack, an abnormal heart rhythm, or heart failure.
Causes of CAD
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaques inside the walls of the arteries of the heart. Plaques are waxy substances made of cholesterol, cell fragments, and other materials that cause the artery wall to become thickened and stiff, restricting blood flow. When oxygenated blood is unable to move through narrowed coronary arteries to the heart, a heart attack can occur.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease include:
- Age — over age 45 in men and over 55 for women
- Family history of heart disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetes or insulin resistance
- High cholesterol levels
- Being overweight
- Not exercising regularly
- Eating too many salty, fatty, sugary, or processed foods
Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Most cases of coronary artery disease can be prevented. Treatment and prevention strategies focus on slowing the disease’s progression, restoring heart function, if possible, and stopping plaque from developing.
If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat those conditions. Treatment can reduce your risk of developing coronary artery plaque. Treatment of severe CAD may include surgical interventions to open the coronary arteries or bypass them altogether.
The best treatment for coronary artery disease is prevention by living a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals treats patients with coronary artery disease and many other heart and vascular conditions in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.