Common Name: Coronary Artery Disease Description: Coronary artery disease is a condition in which fatty deposits accumulate in the cells lining the wall of the coronary arteries.
Causes: Exact cause is unknown. However there are a number of risk factors. Control of these risk factors has been shown to reduce the severity and complications of the disease.
Early stages: No symptoms. Later stages: Angina pectoris Typically, angina is precipitated by physical activity, lasting no more than a few minutes, and is relieved by rest.
Diagnosis of angina is a clinical diagnosis based on a characteristic complaint of chest discomfort or chest pain brought on by exertion and relieved by rest.
Diagnostic tests may include electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, exercise-tolerance test, thallium stress test, blood studies to measure total fat, cholesterol and lipoproteins, X-rays of the chest and coronary angiogram.
Diet: Low-fat and low cholesterol diet. If you are overweight, begin a moderate reducing diet and stick to it.
Possible Complications: Angina pectoris Life-threatening myocardial infarction (death of heart muscle cells from inadequate blood supply). Sudden death
Treatment can prolong life and improve its quality. Tremendous amount of research in this field, and new advances are being made and increasing evidence that aggressive treatment can reverse or arrest course of this disease.
It is very important to follow your doctor's instructions, especially with respect to lifestyle changes and cholesterol reduction. Long term prognosis depends on a number of key factors such as the age, the extent of coronary artery disease, the severity of symptoms and most of all, the pumping ability of the heart.