What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common heart condition where the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. This narrowing restricts blood flow to the heart muscle, which can lead to symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort (angina), shortness of breath, and in severe cases, heart attack.
You can help prevent and manage coronary artery disease by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. Important lifestyle changes include:
- Stop smoking. Giving up smoking may be the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease.
- Regular Exercise. Exercise boosts your heart health in many ways. It can improve blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Talk to the medical providers at Heart and
- Vascular Wellness Center before starting an exercise program to make sure that it’s safe.
- Eat smart. This can also help control cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Stay at a healthy weight by being active and eating healthy foods.
- Manage other health problems. Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can raise your risk of a heart attack. While a heart-healthy lifestyle can help, medication may also be necessary.
- Reduce stress that can damage your heart. Try reducing stress with exercise, deep breathing, meditation or yoga.