Coronary Artery Disease

There are many risk factors for heart disease that you can change.

Dr. Martha Gulati

On my next visit to the doctor, I want to be prepared.

CAD Questions to Ask Your Doctor

I'm willing to try a new treatment or medication.

Coronary artery disease (called CAD for short) is the leading cause of death in men and women.

It happens when your coronary arteries—which act like fuel lines to supply blood to the heart—become damaged or diseased. The main culprit? A build-up of fat and cholesterol in the blood that sticks to the inner walls of the arteries (this is also called atherosclerosis). As this happens, the arteries can narrow or become blocked. Keep in mind, CAD typically develops over decades, so many people don’t even know they have it until it starts causing problems.

When you have CAD, your heart muscle may not be able to get the blood and oxygen it needs. This can result in chest pain (angina) or heart attack. For many people, this may be the first sign they have CAD. CAD is often to blame for heart failure and arrhythmias, too.

Although you don’t have control over all of your risk factors for CAD—gender, age and family history—there are some things you can do to protect yourself. You are more likely to develop CAD and other heart problems if you are overweight; smoke; have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol; or don’t exercise regularly. Luckily, heart-healthy choices can make a big difference.

The sooner you can make positive changes to support your heart health, the better. The goal is to reduce your risk of heart problems down the line. Use this condition center to learn more about coronary artery disease. You can also chat online with other people like you, keep up with the latest research, and get tips to help you feel your best.

Coronary Artery Disease News & Events

Medications Boost Survival After Open Heart Surgery

Nov 14, 2019
Study confirms benefits of blood pressure, cholesterol and anti-clotting medications after open heart surgery. 

A Look at Long-Term Health Effects of Weight Loss

Oct 21, 2019

Maintaining weight loss is key in reducing major risk factors for heart disease.

Lowering Triglycerides to Reduce Heart Risks

Oct 07, 2019

Study confirms cardiovascular benefits of lowering triglycerides with therapies including an omega-3 fatty acid.

Questioning the Long-Term Safety of the High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet

Oct 07, 2019
A review of 10 studies finds a link between mortality risk and diets highest in protein and fat. 

Staying Young at Heart: It's Never Too Early to Start Healthy Habits

Oct 03, 2019

Expert recommendations help healthy individuals prevent heart disease.

Diet Soda and Sugary Drinks May Affect Lifespan, Study Finds

Sep 29, 2019
Two or more sodas a day shown to increase risk of death in nearly half a million Europeans.

Consumption of Plant-Based Proteins Could Add Years to Your Life

Sep 17, 2019

Study suggests that we eat plenty of plant-based foods, while limiting red and processed meat.

Not All Plant-Based Foods are Created Equal

Sep 13, 2019
Just because a food is vegetarian does not mean it promotes health and longevity. 

Strict Insurance Policies Reduce Access to Life-Saving Cholesterol Drugs

Aug 16, 2019

Most patients never get the PCSK9 inhibitors they’re prescribed, putting them at increased risk for heart events.

Three Prevention Efforts Could Save 94 Million Lives Over 25 Years

Jul 11, 2019

Global analysis shows that improving blood pressure and diet could save millions of lives over the next few decades.

Healthy Arteries are Linked to Better Heart Function in Middle Age

Jul 11, 2019

Developing heart-healthy habits as a young adult helps keep your heart strong in middle age.

Study Supports Aggressive Blood Pressure Treatment in All Adults with Diabetes

Jun 04, 2019
Intensive blood pressure treatment isn't just for high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

Red and Processed Meats Increase Risk for Heart Disease

Jun 03, 2019
Not all animal products threaten heart health, finds European study of 500,000 adults.

Screen Time and Inactivity on the Rise

May 22, 2019

Americans spend more time sitting in front of the TV or computer than ever before, despite known health risks.

Skipping Breakfast Nearly Doubles Risk for Heart-Related Death

May 09, 2019

Long-term study of U.S. adults underscores why the morning meal may be the most important of the day.

New Sugar Labels to Prevent 1 Million Cases of Heart Disease and Diabetes

May 08, 2019

Highlighting added sugars for consumers will save both lives and money over the next 20 years.

Stress From Workplace Violence Linked to Increased Heart Risks

May 08, 2019
Bullying and violence in the workplace increase blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation.
CardioSmart News

Imaging Scans for Cancer Provide Useful Information About Heart Health

Mar 28, 2019

Life-saving information about cardiovascular risk is overlooked about half of the time.

CardioSmart News

Study Links a Hearty Breakfast and Less TV to Healthier Arteries

Mar 12, 2019
Greek study finds adults who ate a high-energy breakfast and spent less time on the sofa had healthier arteries.

Nuts May Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Death in Diabetics

Mar 11, 2019

A study of U.S. health professionals found significant benefit from eating five or more servings of nuts a week.

Study Links E-Cigarettes to Heart Attacks, Heart Disease and Depression

Mar 07, 2019

U.S. survey study links e-cigarette use to increased risk for heart problems and a host of other health issues.

Study Links Diet Drinks to Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease

Feb 26, 2019
Drinking two or more diet drinks a day increases heart risks for women, study finds.

Latest Statistics Say Nearly Half of Americans Have Some Form of Heart Disease

Feb 19, 2019
An annual report from the American Heart Association explains the rise in heart disease rates and emphasizes prevention.

Experts Highlight the Strong Link Between Depression and Heart Disease

Feb 19, 2019
Given high rates of depression among heart patients, experts encourage better screening and treatment for mental health.

Experts Address Safety of Heart Medications During Pregnancy

Feb 04, 2019
The use of heart medications takes careful consideration between women and their providers, explain experts.

Infographic: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

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Serious threats to your health can occur when your medication regimen is skipped, modified, or ignored.

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