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

Worldwide Obesity Rates 'Startling'

May 30, 2014
Major study finds obesity rates have increased dramatically in all corners of the world over last three decades.

NIH Engages Women in Medical Research

May 29, 2014
The National Institutes of Health has unveiled new policies that will engage women in all phases of medical research.

Reducing Salt Intake, Nationwide

May 22, 2014
Experts identify ways to reduce salt consumption and improve heart health in the United States.

'Exercise Snacking': The Latest Health Trend?

May 14, 2014
Adding small bursts of exercise before meals could bring big health benefits, finds study.

Common Heart Condition Goes Undetected in Men and Women

May 13, 2014
Coronary microvascular dysfunction may increase cardiovascular risk among both sexes.

Growing Use of ICDs to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death

May 09, 2014
More patients may be eligible to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, according to a scientific statement released by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Heart Association.

Finding Your Energy Balance

Apr 25, 2014
When it comes to our well-being, it's important to consider how much we put into our bodies and what we need in order to stay healthy.

Some Physical Activity is Better Than None

Apr 24, 2014
Adults engaging in any level of regular physical activity have lower risk of death compared to those who get no exercise, according to research.
CardioSmart News

Stumbling Block in Attempt to Reduce Risk of Complications from Surgery

Apr 15, 2014
Aspirin and blood-pressure lowering medication fail to improve outcomes in surgical patients at risk for heart disease.

Indoor Smoking Ban Saves Lives

Apr 04, 2014
Michigan’s new smoke-free air laws helped reduce hospitalizations from heart disease, finds study.
CardioSmart News

Celiac Disease Linked to Increased Heart Disease Risk

Apr 01, 2014
Study suggests inflammation associated with celiac disease may increase risk for heart disease and stroke.
CardioSmart News

Study Tests New Medication for Chronic Coronary Heart Disease

Mar 31, 2014

A new drug to reduce inflammation shows no added benefit in patients with stable heart disease.

Diet Drinks Could Spell Heart Trouble for Older Women

Mar 29, 2014
Largest study of its kind links frequent diet drink consumption to increased risk for heart disease in older women.

Marriage Linked to Lower Heart Risk

Mar 29, 2014
People who are married have fewer heart problems than those who are single, divorced or widowed, according to recent study.

Study Sparks Debate Over Saturated Fats

Mar 27, 2014
Researchers involved in new study question the association between fat consumption and heart health.

Secondhand Smoke Causes Permanent Damage to Children's Arteries

Mar 13, 2014
Exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood ages arteries later in life, study finds.

Panel: Depression Should be a Risk Factor for Heart Disease

Mar 12, 2014
After thorough review, experts recommend adding depression to the list of risk factors for heart disease.

Sudden Death in College Athletes: Cause for Concern?

Feb 27, 2014
Ten-year study finds risk of sudden cardiac death among college athletes is actually lower than in the general population.

Improving America's Health through Active Transportation

Feb 26, 2014
Partners unite to promote active transportation across the country with new platform called “Safe Routes to Everywhere.”

Devices in Public Places Restart Hearts

Feb 21, 2014
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can help minimally trained bystanders save persons experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Safety Concerns About Prescription Weight Loss Pills

Feb 20, 2014
Experts are concerned about the safety of two weight loss pills recently approved for use in the United States.

CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes; Will Others Follow?

Feb 19, 2014
As CVS vows to eliminate cigarette and tobacco sales over the next year, experts hope other pharmacies will follow their lead to help reduce smoking rates nationwide.

New Smartphone App Estimates Heart Disease Risk

Feb 13, 2014
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have teamed up to launch a new risk app based on the latest guidelines.

Cutting Back on Sugar for a Healthy Heart

Feb 10, 2014
Almost three-fourths of American adults consume too much added sugar in their diets.

Improvements in Heart Patient Safety Among U.S. Hospitals

Feb 07, 2014
Study finds fewer complications among patients hospitalized for heart attack or heart failure between 2005 and 2011.

Featured Video

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