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What do the results mean?
Your doctor might tell you that you have “less than 70% blockage in an artery.” That means that you have non-obstructive CAD. In other words, blood flow to the heart muscle is not reduced at rest, but may be limited during intense exercise or exertion. In this case, risk reduction through lifestyle and medication is the best treatment.
Or your doctor might say you have “over 70% blockage in one artery.” This means that you have severe blockages in both coronary arteries. Blood flow to the heart muscle is significantly reduced and would likely explain any chest pain or shortness of breath you may have been feeling. In this case, your doctor might recommend more aggressive medical treatment, and possibly recommend a procedure or surgery
There are a number of treatment options for CAD, including lifestyle changes, medications, surgery and/or medical procedures.
Lifestyle changes include:
Medications may be recommended to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Sometimes medications for chest pain that comes on with activity are recommended. Aspirin or other blood thinners may also be recommended.
Procedures or surgeries may be recommended if you have a severely narrowed coronary artery to reduce the risk of a heart attack. For example:
Cardiac rehab is beneficial to all patients with angina (chest pain) or after a heart attack, coronary procedure, valve surgery or heart failure. Cardiac rehab is a 12-week program that includes a mix of supervised exercise, nutrition counseling, stress management, smoking cessation assistance and education about the disease process, including how you can better take control of your health and improve outcomes.
Life with CAD—9 Tips
Finding out that you or a loved one has CAD can be upsetting. But you’re not alone and there is good news: More people are living with CAD than ever before thanks to earlier diagnosis and better treatments. There are also steps you can take to help prevent problems and feel better.
Talk with your care team
Your care team knows what’s best in terms of supporting your heart health. Learn all you can about coronary artery disease, and share any concerns or questions with your health care team.
Here are some questions you might want to ask:
To learn more about CAD, visit CardioSmart’s condition center. In addition to the resources on CardioSmart.org, you can find out more about CAD at:
American Heart Association
National Lung, Blood and Heart Institute
U.S. National Library of Medicine
www.medlineplus.com search ‘coronary artery or heart disease’
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