Coronary Artery Disease is the most common type of heart disease. It is often called CAD. It affects the blood flow to the heart and can cause a heart attack.
What causes coronary heart disease (CAD)?
It usually occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. Too much plaque buildup and narrowed artery walls can make it harder for blood to flow through the body. Over time, this can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure, a serious condition where the heart can’t pump blood the way that it should.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is usually the result of coronary heart disease. A heart attack occurs when a part of the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough blood flow. This requires immediate medical attention. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.
The major sign(s) of a heart attack are (one or more of the following):
- Chest pain or discomfort that does not go away after a few minutes
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, upper arms or back
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness, light-headedness, nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or breaking out in a cold sweat
If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.