Coronary Artery Disease - Symptoms and Causes (2023)


Coronary artery disease is a common heart condition. The main blood vessels that supply the heart (coronary arteries) struggle to send enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. Cholesterol deposits (plaques) in the arteries of the heart and inflammation are common causes of coronary artery disease.

Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease occur when the heart doesn't get enough oxygenated blood. If you have coronary artery disease, reduced blood flow to your heart can cause chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath. A complete blockage of blood flow can cause a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease usually develops over decades. Symptoms can go unnoticed until a significant blockage causes problems or a heart attack occurs. A heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent coronary artery disease.

Coronary heart disease can also be referred to as coronary artery disease.

What is coronary artery disease? A Mayo Clinic cardiologist explains.

Stephen Kopecky, M.D., discusses risk factors, symptoms and treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). Learn how lifestyle changes can reduce your risk.

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Stephen Kopecky, M.D., Cardiovascular Disease, Mayo Clinic:i am dr Stephen Kopecky, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. In this video we cover the basics of coronary artery disease. What is it? who understands Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Whether you're looking for answers for yourself or someone you love, we're here to bring you the best information available.

(Video) Coronary Artery Disease, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Coronary artery disease, also known as CHD, is a disease that affects the heart. It is the most common heart disease in the United States.GrobianIt happens when the coronary arteries struggle to get enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart. Cholesterol deposits, or plaque, are almost always to blame. These deposits narrow your arteries and reduce blood flow to your heart. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, or even a heart attack.Grobianit usually takes a long time to develop. Often patients don't know they have it until there is a problem. But there are ways to prevent coronary heart disease and determine if you're at risk, and ways to treat it.

who understands

Everyone can developGrobian. It starts with fats, cholesterol, and other substances building up on the artery walls. This process is called atherosclerosis. It's usually nothing to worry about. However, too much buildup can create a blockage that impedes blood flow. There are a number of risk factors, common warning signs, that can contribute to and ultimately lead to coronary artery disease. First, aging can mean more damaged and narrower arteries. Second, men are generally at higher risk. But the risk for women increases after menopause. Existing health conditions are also important. High blood pressure can thicken the arteries and narrow blood flow. Elevated cholesterol levels can accelerate plaque formation. Diabetes is associated with a higher risk, as is obesity. Your lifestyle also plays a big role. Physical inactivity, long periods of unrelieved stress in your life, an unhealthy diet, and smoking can all increase your risk. And finally family history. If a close relative was diagnosed with heart disease at an early age, you are at increased risk. All of these factors together can paint a picture of your development riskGrobian.

What are the symptoms?

When the coronary arteries narrow, the heart doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. Remember that unlike most pumps, the heart must pump its own energy supply. It works more with less. And you may notice these signs and symptoms of pressure or tightness in your chest. This pain is called angina. It can feel like someone is standing on your chest. When your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme tiredness during activities. And when an artery is completely blocked, it leads to a heart attack. Classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include bruising, substernal chest pain, shoulder or arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating. However, many heart attacks have minimal or no symptoms and are later detected during routine testing.

How is it diagnosed?

diagnoseGrobianTalk to your doctor first. They may review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order routine blood tests. Depending on this, they may suggest one or more of the following tests: electrocardiogram or EKG, echocardiogram or cardiac sound wave test, stress test, cardiac catheterization and angiogram or cardiac examinationTCScan.

How is this handled?

Treating coronary artery disease usually means making lifestyle changes. This can be eating healthier, exercising regularly, losing weight, reducing stress or quitting smoking. The good news is that these changes can go a long way in improving your prospects. Living a healthier life means having healthier arteries. If needed, treatment may include medications such as aspirin, cholesterol-modifying drugs, beta-blockers, or certain medical procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.

And now?

Finding out you have coronary artery disease can be overwhelming. But be encouraged. There are things you can do to manage and live with this condition. Lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising and managing stress can make a world of difference. Better heart health starts with educating yourself. So don't be afraid to gather information and ask your doctor about coronary artery disease. If you're interested in learning more about this condition, watch our other related videos or visit We wish you all the best.


Symptoms may go unnoticed at first or only appear when the heart is beating, e.g. B. during training. As the coronary arteries continue to narrow, less and less blood reaches the heart and symptoms can become more severe or more frequent.

Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease can include:

  • Chest pain (angina).You may feel pressure or tightness in your chest. Some people say it feels like someone is standing on your chest. Chest pain usually occurs on the middle or left side of the chest. Activity or strong emotions can trigger angina. The pain usually goes away minutes after the triggering event is over. In some people, especially women, the pain can be brief or sharp and can be felt in the neck, arm, or back.
  • Shortness of breath.You may feel like you can't catch your breath.
  • Fatigue.When your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs, you may feel exceptionally tired.
  • Heart attack.A completely blocked coronary artery causes a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack are sharp pains or pressure in the chest, pain in the shoulder or arm, shortness of breath, and sweating. Women may experience less typical symptoms, such as neck or jaw pain, nausea, and fatigue. Some heart attacks cause no noticeable signs or symptoms.

When to the doctor

If you think you're having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If you don't have access to emergency medical services, ask someone to drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive alone as a last option.

Smoking or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or a strong family history of heart disease increase the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease. If you're at high risk for coronary artery disease, talk to your doctor. You may need tests to look for narrowed arteries and coronary artery disease.

(Video) Coronary Artery Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Curtiss Stinis | San Diego Health

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(Video) Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) | Causes, Symptoms And Preventions (3D Animation)

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development of atherosclerosis

Coronary Artery Disease - Symptoms and Causes (1)

development of atherosclerosis

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, cholesterol and other substances can form deposits (plaques) that are deposited on the walls of arteries. Plaques can cause an artery to become narrowed or blocked. When a plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form. Plaques and blood clots can reduce blood flow through an artery.

Coronary artery disease begins when fats, cholesterol, and other substances build up on the inner walls of the heart's arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis. The buildup is called plaque. Plaque can narrow arteries and block blood flow. Plaque can also rupture and lead to a blood clot.

In addition to high cholesterol, damage to the coronary arteries can be caused by:

(Video) Coronary Artery Disease - Signs & Symptoms

  • diabetes or insulin resistance
  • High pressure
  • Too little exercise (sedentary lifestyle)
  • smoking or tobacco use

risk factors

Coronary heart disease is widespread. Age, genetics, other health conditions, and lifestyle choices can all affect the health of your heart arteries.

Risk factors for coronary artery disease include:

  • Alter.Aging increases the risk of damaged and narrowed arteries.
  • Sex.Men generally have a higher risk of coronary artery disease. However, the risk increases for women after menopause.
  • family history.A family history of heart disease increases the likelihood of coronary artery disease. This is especially true if a close relative (parents, siblings) has suffered from heart disease at a young age. The risk is higher if your father or brother had a heart condition before age 55, or if your mother or sister developed it before age 65.
  • Rauch.If you smoke, stop. Smoking is bad for heart health. People who smoke have a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Inhaling secondhand smoke also increases the risk.
  • High pressure.Uncontrolled high blood pressure can make your arteries hard and stiff (arterial stiffness). Coronary arteries can narrow and reduce blood flow.
  • High cholesterol.Too much bad cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Bad cholesterol is called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Too little good cholesterol - called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - also leads to arteriosclerosis.
  • Diabetes.Diabetes increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease share some risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • overweight or obese.Being overweight is bad for overall health. Obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
  • Chronic kidney disease.Long-term kidney disease increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Not getting enough exercise.Physical activity is important for good health. Sedentary lifestyle (sedentary lifestyle) is associated with coronary artery disease and some of its risk factors.
  • Too much stress.Emotional stress can damage arteries and exacerbate other risk factors for coronary artery disease.
  • Unhealthy Diet.Eating foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and sugar can increase your risk of coronary artery disease.
  • alcohol consumption.Heavy alcohol consumption can damage the heart muscle. It can also worsen other risk factors for coronary artery disease.
  • amount of sleepToo little and too much sleep have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Risk factors often occur together. One risk factor can trigger another.

Taken together, certain risk factors increase the likelihood that you will develop coronary artery disease. For example, metabolic syndrome — a cluster of disorders that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and high triglyceride levels — increases the risk of coronary artery disease.

Sometimes coronary artery disease develops without classic risk factors. Other possible risk factors for coronary artery disease may include:

  • pauses in breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnoea).This condition causes breathing to stop and start during sleep. There may be a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels. The heart has to work harder. Blood pressure rises.
  • Highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).This protein appears in higher than normal amounts when there is inflammation anywhere in the body. Highhs-CRPElevated levels can be a risk factor for heart disease. It is believed that when the coronary arteries narrow, the level ofhs-CRPrises in the blood.
  • Hohe Triglyceride.This is a type of fat (lipid) in the blood. Elevated levels can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.
  • Homocysteine.Homocysteine ​​is an amino acid that the body uses to make proteins and build and maintain tissue. But high homocysteine ​​levels can increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Preeclampsia.This pregnancy complication causes high blood pressure and increased protein levels in the urine. It can lead to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
  • Other pregnancy complications.Diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy are also known risk factors for coronary heart disease.
  • Certain autoimmune diseases.People with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (and other inflammatory diseases) are at increased risk of atherosclerosis.


Coronary artery disease can lead to:

  • Chest pain (angina).When the coronary arteries narrow, the heart may not get enough blood when it needs it most - like when you exercise. This can cause chest pain (angina pectoris) or shortness of breath.
  • Heart attack.A heart attack can occur when a cholesterol plaque breaks open and causes a blood clot to form. A clot can block blood flow. The lack of blood can damage the heart muscle. The amount of damage depends in part on how quickly you are treated.
  • heart failure.Narrowed arteries in the heart or high blood pressure can cause the heart to slowly weaken or stiffen, making it harder to pump blood. Heart failure occurs when the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should.
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).Inadequate blood supply to the heart can alter the heart's normal signaling and cause irregular heartbeats.


The same lifestyle habits used to treat coronary artery disease can also help prevent it. A healthy lifestyle can help keep your arteries strong and plaque-free. To improve heart health, follow these tips:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Control high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Train often.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a diet low in fat, low in salt, and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Reduce and manage stress.

By Mayo Clinic staff

(Video) Heart Disease - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options


What are 3 causes of coronary artery disease? ›

What are the risks for coronary artery disease? Overweight, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and smoking tobacco are risk factors for CAD. A family history of heart disease also increases your risk for CAD, especially a family history of having heart disease at an early age (50 or younger).

What causes coronary artery disease symptoms? ›

CAD happens when coronary arteries struggle to supply the heart with enough blood, oxygen and nutrients. Cholesterol deposits, or plaques, are almost always to blame. These buildups narrow your arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath or even a heart attack.

What is the leading cause of coronary artery disease? ›

Most often, atherosclerosis is the root cause of coronary artery disease. The condition occurs when a fatty substance called plaque builds up inside your coronary arteries. Over time, the plaque buildup leads to artery narrowing, which restricts blood flow to your heart.

What are the warning signs of clogged arteries? ›

Dizziness or weakness. Heart palpitations, or sensations of your heart racing or fluttering. Nausea or sweating. Shortness of breath.
Your doctor may also use tests that look for signs of atherosclerosis, such as:
  • A weak or absent pulse.
  • A whooshing sound (bruit) in your artery.
  • Low blood pressure in one of your arms or legs.


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