Definition of "coronary artery disease."
It is a narrowing or blockage of one or both of the coronary arteries causing a decreased blood and oxygen supply to the heart.
Lack of oxygen may cause damage to the heart.
The disease develops very slowly and may be very advanced before symptoms develop.
The primary cause is atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fatty, fibrous plaques on the inner wall of the artery causing it to become narrow and hardened.
Stages of atherosclerosis can range from fatty streak to a complicated lesion.
Factors that may increase risk of coronary artery disease.
Elevated blood pressure.
High cholesterol diet.
Age (risk increases with age).
Sex (incidence rate in men is three times that of women).
Race (incidence rate is higher in blacks than whites).
Measures to prevent or manage coronary heart disease
Avoid cholesterol. (Provide "Decreased Cholesterol Levels" handout.)
Avoid food and drink containing caffeine (e.g., chocolate, coffee and colas).
Avoid sodium. (Provide "Restrict Sodium" handout.)
Exercise regularly. Avoid occasional, strenuous exercise, which may be dangerous.
Avoid stress. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handout.)
Achieve and maintain ideal weight. (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)
Possible diseases resulting from coronary artery disease.