Coronary Artery Disease

Understanding Coronary Artery Disease and How-To Manage It

What is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)?

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. When the coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis), it can restrict blood flow to the heart, leading to various symptoms and complications.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes and risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease include:

  • Atherosclerosis: Buildup of cholesterol, fatty deposits, and other substances in the walls of the coronary arteries.
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Prolonged high blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries, increasing the risk of plaque buildup.
  • High Cholesterol: Elevated levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol can contribute to plaque formation in the arteries.
  • Smoking: Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can damage blood vessels and promote atherosclerosis.
  • Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of CAD by damaging blood vessels and promoting plaque buildup.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for CAD.
  • Physical Inactivity: Lack of regular exercise can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of CAD.
  • Family History: Having a family history of CAD or heart disease increases the risk of developing the condition.


Common symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease may include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort (angina), which may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat

It's important to note that some individuals with CAD may not experience any symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease (silent ischemia).


Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease typically involves:

  • Medical history review
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests to measure cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and other markers of heart health
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to assess heart rhythm and electrical activity
  • Stress tests, such as exercise stress test or nuclear stress test, to evaluate heart function during physical activity
  • Coronary angiography: Invasive procedure using contrast dye and X-rays to visualize the coronary arteries and identify blockages or narrowing

Treatment Options

Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease aims to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Treatment options may include:

  • Lifestyle modifications such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and managing stress
  • Medications such as aspirin, statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers to reduce the risk of blood clots, lower cholesterol levels, control blood pressure, and improve heart function
  • Procedures such as angioplasty with stent placement or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to restore blood flow to the heart muscle in cases of significant blockages

Lifestyle Management

Managing Coronary Artery Disease involves adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and taking steps to reduce risk factors, including:

  • Following a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium
  • Exercising regularly with a combination of aerobic activity and strength training
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Managing stress through relaxation techniques, meditation, or therapy
  • Taking medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional


Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a serious condition that requires ongoing management and treatment to reduce the risk of complications such as heart attack and stroke. By understanding its causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and lifestyle management tips, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their heart health and improve their quality of life. If you suspect you may have CAD or are experiencing symptoms, it's essential to seek medical attention promptly for proper evaluation and personalized treatment recommendations.

Located in Wellington, Florida IVY Cardiovascular & Vein Center offers world-class heart and vascular care and treatment.  Our IVY league trained Cardiologist and Advanced Peripheral Vascular specialist, Dr. Rishi Panchal, will conduct a complete evaluation and provide a personalized plan of treatment.

Don’t let your Coronary Artery Disease go undiagnosed. Call IVY Cardiovascular & Vein Center at 561-210-9495 or request an appointment online.

Get The Treatment You Deserve!

We look forward to helping you with all your cardiovascular and vein needs. Click below to get started.

Book Appointment