The Heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body. It beats 100,000 times a day. It is responsible for supplying the entire body with oxygenated, nutrient rich blood so that organs can stay healthy and function properly. The heart is the hub of the circulatory system which consists of arteries, capillaries, and veins.
Coronary Artery Disease, or atherosclerosis is a progressive narrowing and hardening of the arteries which provide blood to the heart. The heart muscle doesn't get sufficient oxygen when the heart arteries are contracted. If your heart is starving out of oxygen, then the pain in the chest arises which is called as angina. If your artery is totally blocked then the result would be heart attack.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease usually don't present until after the age of 50. While men typically show signs 10 years earlier than women, by the age of 60 it is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Symptoms usually occur during times of physical activity when the heart is working harder than at rest. These symptoms include angina, otherwise known as chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart attack. Less commonly reported symptoms include rapid heart beat, sweating, and feeling sick to your stomach.
CAD is treatable through medication and surgical procedures. Some medications can are used to help lower cholesterol or blood pressure, while others assist in thinning the blood and reducing the chance of blood clots. Surgical procedures include angioplasty, use of a stent, or bypass surgery. An angioplasty procedure involving a long skinny balloon that is inserted into the blocked artery where it is then inflated to compress the plaque buildup.
While some risk factors such as age, gender, and family history are beyond our control, lifestyle changes such as avoiding cigarettes and second hand smoke, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercise can reduce or even eliminate many of the risks associated with CAD. Making changes to adopt a healthy lifestyle will not only increase your quality of life but improve your overall health and reduce the risk of CAD.
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