Build-up of plaque or clot leading to loss of heart muscle.
Some individuals with coronary artery disease experience little to no symptoms, making it more difficult to diagnose without the proper tools. Those with coronary artery disease who do notice symptoms sometimes experience one or more of the following.
Angina is a feeling of tightness in the chest, which could manifest as a burning or squeezing sensation and radiate to other parts of the body. It is a sign that the heart muscle is not receiving adequate blood flow, usually due to a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries.
Discomfort from coronary artery disease may also be experienced as jaw pain, upper back or neck pain, or discomfort in the left arm or shoulder.
Many people with coronary artery disease, particularly women and those with diabetes, may present with atypical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, or sudden fatigue.
Your coronary arteries are the main pathway for blood flow to your heart muscle. Plaque that builds up and narrows your arteries is called coronary artery disease.
Left untreated, coronary artery disease can lead to a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. This occurs when the heart muscle is deprived of blood flow for an extended period of time and loses the ability to function. If you experience chest pain that changes in nature or lasts more than 5 minutes, seek medical care immediately, as you may be experiencing a heart attack.
Coronary artery disease is associated with a range of risk factors, including hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, sleep apnea, inflammatory conditions, chronic infections, genetics and family history, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, poor stress management, tobacco use, age, and gender.
Coronary artery disease is a serious condition that requires medical attention. With recent advancements in both diagnostics and treatments, even if you have coronary artery disease you can prevent ever having a heart attack. Book an appointment with Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates if you have risk factors or notice any unusual symptoms to determine if you have coronary artery disease.
Depending on the severity and stability of disease, those with coronary artery disease may benefit from various treatments. Often medications are used to stabilize the plaque and protect the heart. Rarely procedures such as coronary stenting or bypass surgery are necessary. In almost all cases we encourage and support nutrition, fitness, and behavioral change as part of the treatment plan for coronary artery disease.
At Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates, we strongly believe that coronary artery disease can be managed in such a way as to make complications extremely unlikely.