Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common medical condition that occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of plaque. This can reduce blood flow to the heart, leading to a range of symptoms and complications, including heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmia.
It’s important to know about coronary artery disease because it is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, particularly in developed countries. In Singapore, 21 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart diseases and stroke) every day. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 32% of all deaths in 2021. Understanding the risk factors and symptoms of CAD can help individuals take steps to reduce their risk and seek prompt medical attention if necessary.
Some common risk factors for CAD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease. Symptoms of CAD can vary depending on the severity of the condition but may include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations.
Treatment for CAD includes lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, as well as medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, and manage symptoms. In more severe cases, procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow to the heart.
Overall, it’s important for individuals to be aware of their risk for coronary artery disease and take steps to reduce their risk and manage their condition if necessary. Working closely with a healthcare provider can help ensure prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, which can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.