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

Weight Gain in Adulthood Spells Trouble for Health

Aug 16, 2017

Gaining more than five pounds by middle age increases risk for chronic disease and earlier death, finds study.

Study Questions Routine Heart Tests in Healthy Patients

Aug 11, 2017

Despite recommendations against routine heart tests, one in five healthy Canadians receive ECGs after annual visit.

Lifestyle Counseling Proves Useful for Heart Disease Prevention

Aug 10, 2017
Adults at low risk for heart disease consistently benefit from counseling that promotes exercise and a healthy diet.

Breastfeeding Protects Women from Heart Disease

Jul 30, 2017
Breastfeeding, especially for longer durations, helps reduce women’s risk for heart disease.

Swap Saturated Fats with Unsaturated Fats for a Healthy Heart

Jul 30, 2017

Unsaturated fats can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce risk for heart disease and stroke.

Extreme Long Distance Running Has Questionable Impact on Heart

Jul 28, 2017

Small study suggests extreme levels of running may hurt, not help, the heart.

Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Heart Risks in Elderly Individuals

Jul 28, 2017
Study suggests we’re never too told to benefit from heart-healthy changes.

Air and Noise Pollution Linked to Increased Heart Risks

Jul 18, 2017
Exposure to environmental stressors revealed higher cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides in study participants. 

Obesity Affects 1 in 10 People Worldwide

Jul 18, 2017
Global analysis shows rapid increase in overweight and obesity since 1990.

Education Has a Strong Impact on Heart Disease Risk

Jul 18, 2017
Dropping out of high school increases future risk for heart disease, including heart failure.

Anabolic Steroids Increase Risk for Heart Disease in Young and Middle-Aged Men

Jul 07, 2017
Study finds long-term steroid use may have a permanent impact on heart health.

U.S. Death Toll from Heart Disease Remains Highest in the South

Jun 29, 2017
While national mortality rates from heart disease have declined, the death toll remains high in southern U.S. states.

Diabetes Drug Protects Heart Health in Prediabetic Men

Jun 15, 2017
Metformin helps prevent calcium build-up in men with prediabetes.

Lack of Evidence on Herbal Remedies and Heart Disease

Jun 15, 2017
Experts urge more research on the risks and benefits of Chinese herbal remedies for heart health.

Yo-Yo Dieting May Be Harmful for Patients with Heart Disease

Jun 06, 2017
Study links body weight fluctuation to increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death in patients with heart disease.

Coronary Artery Calcification Likely the Best Marker of Heart Health

May 16, 2017

Checking for calcium build-up in the heart’s arteries identifies patients at increased risk for heart disease, finds study.

Quality of Life as a Key Goal for Older Adults with Heart Disease

May 10, 2017

Maintaining independence should be a key goal of treatment, argue experts.

Gum Disease and Tooth Loss Linked to Heart Risks in Older Women

May 10, 2017

Maintaining healthy gums may help reduce risk for heart disease.

New Tool Helps Predict Heart Risks in Patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Apr 13, 2017

New tool to guide treatment in patients with a genetic disorder causing dangerously high cholesterol levels.

CardioSmart News

South American Tribe Has World's Healthiest Arteries, Study Finds

Mar 31, 2017
What we can learn from the Tsimane tribe, in which heart disease hardly exists.

Excess Sodium is Leading Dietary Cause of Heart-Related Deaths

Mar 24, 2017

Consuming too much salt has a strong impact on mortality risk from heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Heavy Drinking Increases Heart Risks in Men

Mar 17, 2017

Study links heavy drinking to stiffened arteries in men.

Testosterone Treatment Accelerates Artery Plaque Build-Up

Mar 01, 2017

Study highlights potential health risks of testosterone treatment in older men.

Mediterranean Diet Powers 'Good' Cholesterol's Abilities

Feb 22, 2017

The Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil improves HDL function in adults at high risk for heart disease.

Heart Failure Rates on the Rise, Show Latest Statistics

Feb 01, 2017

While heart failure has become an increasing concern, overall death rates from heart disease declined by 25% in recent years.

Infographic: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

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