Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most common type of heart disease. It is the top cause of death in the United States in both male and female.
CAD occurs when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This is due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls. This buildup normally is known as atherosclerosis. As it grows, less blood can flow through the arteries. As a result, the heart muscle can't get the blood or oxygen it needs. This can lead to chest pain or a heart attack. Most heart attacks happen when a blood clot suddenly cuts off the hearts blood supply, causing permanent heart damage.
Coronary artery disease can also weaken the heart muscle and lend to heart failure and arrhythmias. Heart failure means the heart cannot pump blood well to the rest of the body. Arrhythmias are changes in the normal beating rhythm of the heart.
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