Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability for both men and women in the U.S. It includes a number of conditions affecting the function of the heart. Coronary artery disease refers to the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries from the buildup of cholesterol and plaques. This buildup restricts blood flow to the heart. If the blood supply to the heart is cut off, a heart attack can occur.
Symptoms of coronary artery disease
- Pain, discomfort, heaviness in chest
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Faster heartbeat
Living with coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is chronic, so it is important to maintain your heart health for the rest of your life. Although there are several procedures and medications that can improve the blood flow to the heart, there is no cure for coronary artery disease. The goal is stopping the progression of the disease.
- Schedule regular checkups with your physician
- Reduce your risk factors
- Change eating habits
- Quit smoking
- Set up a supervised exercise plan
- Take all prescribed medications
It may be helpful to some individuals who are living with coronary artery disease to set up a plan for diet, exercise, and other lifestyle goals. Also, seek family and friend support. Making changes to improve your health now can help lower your risk for future heart problems.
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