Coronary Artery Disease(CAD)


Welcome to our explanation (and links) for CAD. We hope it will help you prevent and understand heart disease a little better.

The heart is composed of four chambers: two upper chambers called atria and two lower chambers called ventricles. There are three main coronary arteries that branch into thousands of small arteries--like a tree trunk branches into limbs--bringing oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle cells. Coronary artery disease is a narrowing or blockage of these arteries and vessels.

CAD occurs when the arteries are blocked, or clogged. The blockage limits the flow of blood from the coronary arteries. These arteries expand when the heart is working harder (i.e., when a person is climbing stairs, exercising, or having sex). If the arteries cannot expand, the heart is deprrived of oxygen (myocardial ischemia). When the blockage is limited, chest pain or pressure called angina may occur. When the blockage cuts off the flow of blood, the result is a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

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Causes & Symptoms:
CAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis--cholesterol and other fatty substances accumulate on the inner wall of the arteries and harden into plaques.

Major Risk Factors that can be changed:

Smoking --- High Cholesterol --- High blood pressure

Lack of Physical activity ---Diabetes melitus

Contributing Risk Factors:

Obesity --- Stress ---and Anger

Chest pain (angina) is the main symptom of coronary heart disease, but it is not always present. (This article was based on the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine.)

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Links to More on CAD:

Prevention of CAD
Alternative Treatments


Links to Other Sites to Learn More:

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Our URL is www.heart-help.net

Last Modified on October 14, 2001

Please note: We are not medical doctors
nor are we in the healthcare field!
Whatever you read here, or at any website
should not be misconstrued as medical advice.
ONLY your doctor can prescribe what is best for you.