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Coronary Artery Disease

More than 18 million adults over the age of 20 have coronary artery disease (CAD). At ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center, with offices in Dearborn, Detroit, and Trenton, Michigan, and a diagnostic and imaging center in Trenton, the esteemed team of cardiovascular specialists offers the latest advanced treatment for coronary artery disease. If you’re ready to protect your heart health, book your appointment online, or call the office nearest you now.

Coronary Artery Disease Q & A

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition that occurs with damage to the arteries that deliver blood, oxygen, and crucial nutrients to your heart. This deprives your heart of what it needs to work properly and can lead to chest pain (angina), arrhythmias, heart failure, and heart attacks. 

What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?

The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is chest pain. The disease is more likely to cause symptoms as artery narrowing progresses, with other possible issues including:

  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Clammy skin
  • Pain in your arm or shoulder
  • Breathing difficulties

Not everyone with CAD has obvious symptoms. In fact, some people only learn that they have coronary artery disease after suffering a heart attack. 

What causes coronary artery disease?

The most common cause of CAD is atherosclerosis a buildup of plaque (cholesterol, fats, and other substances) in your arteries. Atherosclerosis can narrow your arteries over time, which prevents your heart from getting blood. 

The biggest risk factors for coronary artery disease include extra weight, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and cigarette smoking. If someone in your immediate family has CAD, you have an increased risk of having it as well, particularly if your family member’s diagnosis was before age 50.

How do you diagnose coronary artery disease?

CAD diagnosis starts with a complete physical exam, medical history, and review of all of your symptoms. You’ll typically have lab testing, and some of the additional tests you may need include: 

  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Nuclear stress test
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary angiogram
  • Coronary artery calcium scan

You may also need other tests based upon your health and other conditions. 

How is coronary artery disease treated?

CAD treatment can depend on how advanced your condition is. In many cases, lifestyle changes can be very effective. The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team may recommend a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, weight management, and stress management. 

Alongside lifestyle interventions, you might need medication such as blood thinners or cholesterol-reducing drugs on a daily basis. 

Depending on how narrow your arteries are, the team may recommend a surgical procedure to restore blood flow to your heart. The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team performs advanced procedures like the radial approach, in which your doctor accesses your narrowed artery through a small wrist artery rather than a groin incision.

For CAD help, call ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center or click on the scheduling link today.