Women health

 Coronary artery disease risk factors

Heart conditions like coronary artery disease are rather frequent. The coronary arteries, the main blood channels feeding the heart, have a hard time getting adequate blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. The usual causes of coronary artery disease include inflammation and cholesterol deposits (plaques) in the heart arteries.

Whenever the heart doesn't receive enough oxygen-rich blood, signs, and symptoms of coronary artery disease appear. Chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, and restricted blood flow to the heart can all be symptoms of coronary artery disease. A heart attack may result from a complete obstruction of blood flow.

It takes years or even decades for coronary artery disease to develop. Before serious blockages cause issues or a heart attack occurs, symptoms may go unrecognized. An active lifestyle that is heart-healthy can help prevent coronary artery disease.

Heart disease associated with the coronary arteries is also known as this.

How do you define coronary artery disease?

Doctor Stephen Kopecky discusses coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, symptoms, and treatments. Find out how changing your lifestyle can reduce your risk.

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It's possible for symptoms to go unnoticed at first or for them to appear only when the heart is pumping vigorously, such as during exercise. Less blood reaches the heart as the coronary arteries constrict, which can lead to symptoms getting worse or occurring more frequently.

Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease can include:

  • Angina or chest pain. Your chest may feel tight or under strain. Some claim that the sensation is similar to having someone stand on their chest. The middle or left side of the chest is the main location for the chest pain. Angina can be brought on by exertion or intense feelings. The pain typically disappears minutes after the triggering event is over. Some people, particularly women, may have brief or sharp neck, arm, or back pain.
  • Breathing difficulty. It's possible that you experience difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue. You can experience unusual fatigue if your heart isn't able to pump enough blood to meet your body's demands.
  • A heart attack. A heart attack will result from a totally clogged coronary artery. Crushing chest pain or pressure, shoulder or arm pain, shortness of breath, and perspiration are the traditional warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Women may experience symptoms that are less common, such as neck or jaw pain, weariness, and nausea. Some heart attacks result in no visible warning signals or symptoms at all.

When to visit the doctor

Call 911 or your local emergency number right away if you believe you are experiencing a heart attack. Obtain a ride to the closest hospital if you don't have access to emergency medical care. Driving yourself should only be a last resort.

Coronary artery disease is more likely to develop if you smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or a significant family history of heart disease. Speak with your doctor if you have a high risk of developing coronary artery disease. Tests to look for coronary artery disease and clogged arteries may be necessary.

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The buildup of lipids, cholesterol, and other chemicals on the inside walls of the heart arteries is the precursor to coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis is the name given to this illness. Plaque refers to the accumulation. The arteries may become narrowed by plaque, obstructing blood flow. A blood clot may develop if the plaque ruptures.

Along with excessive cholesterol, other factors that might harm the coronary arteries include:

  • Insomnia or insulin resistance
  • Increased blood pressure
  • A sedentary lifestyle, lacking adequate exercise
  • Tobacco or smoking use

Risk factors

Coronary artery disease is widespread. The status of the cardiac arteries can be impacted by factors such as age, heredity, other medical disorders, and lifestyle choices.

Risk factors for coronary artery disease include:

Age.  A damaged and narrowed artery is more likely to develop as you age.

Sex.  Atherosclerotic heart disease often affects men more than women. But after a woman hits menopause, her risk goes up.

History of the family. You are more susceptible to developing coronary artery disease if your family has a history of the condition. This is particularly true if a close relative (father, sibling) suffered from heart disease at a young age. If your mother, sister, or either of your parents had heart disease before the age of 65, or if your father or a sibling had it before the age of 55, your risk is higher.

Smoking. Please give off smoking. The heart is harmed by smoking. Smokers are much more likely to get heart disease than nonsmokers. The risk is further boosted by inhaling secondhand smoke.

Higher blood pressure. The condition known as arterial stiffness is caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure. Blood flow may be slowed by coronary artery narrowing.

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Higher cholesterol. Increased risk of atherosclerosis can result from high levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the term used to describe bad cholesterol. Additionally, atherosclerosis is brought on by low levels of HDL, or high-density lipoprotein.

Diabetes.  Coronary artery disease risk is heightened by diabetes. Some risk factors, like obesity and high blood pressure, are similar between coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity or being overweight. Overall health suffers from excess body weight. Both type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure can be caused by obesity. Find out what your ideal weight is by speaking with your doctor.

Kidney disease that is chronic. Coronary artery disease is more likely in people who have kidney illness that has persisted for a while.

Not enough exercise. Good health depends on physical activity. One of the risk factors for coronary artery disease is a sedentary lifestyle, which is connected to exercise deficiency.

A lot of pressure. Stress on an emotional level might increase other coronary heart disease risk factors and harm the arteries.

A poor diet. Consuming foods high in salt, sugar, trans fat, and saturated fat can raise your chance of developing coronary artery disease.

Using alcohol. Heart muscle injury might result from heavy alcohol consumption. Additionally, it may make other coronary artery disease risk factors worse.

Quantity of sleep. Both insufficient and excessive sleep has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Risk factors frequently coexist. One risk factor can set off another.

A number of risk factors increase your likelihood of developing coronary artery disease when combined. For instance, the risk of coronary artery disease is raised by metabolic syndrome, a group of disorders marked by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and high triglyceride levels.

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There are instances where coronary artery disease develops without any known risk factors. The following are other potential coronary artery disease risk factors:

Obstructive sleep apnea, which causes breathing pauses while you sleep. Sleeping is affected by this condition, which results in irregular breathing. Blood oxygen levels may suddenly plummet as a result. The heart has to pump harder. The heart rate increases.

C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), is a highly sensitive form. When the body is inflamed, this protein is present in greater quantities than usual. Heart disease risk factors may include high hs-CRP levels. According to theory, the blood's hs-CRP concentration rises as coronary arteries get smaller.

High triglycerides. This kind of lipid (fat) exists in the blood. Particularly for women, high amounts may increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

Homocysteine. The body requires the amino acid homocysteine to develop and maintain tissue, as well as to generate protein. On the other hand, coronary artery disease may be made more likely by high homocysteine levels.

Preeclampsia. High blood pressure and a rise in protein in the urine are side effects of this pregnancy problem. Later in life, there may be a greater chance of developing heart disease as a result.

Additional problems associated with pregnancy. Another established risk factor for coronary artery disease is diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Certain autoimmune diseases. Atherosclerosis risk is higher in those with inflammatory diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Heart illness can result in:

  • Angina or heartache. When the coronary arteries become narrow, the heart may not receive enough blood when it is most needed, such as during exercise. Shortness of breath or angina are two possible effects.
  • A heart attack. A cholesterol plaque rupture that results in the formation of a blood clot can result in a heart attack. Blood flow may be impeded by a clot. The cardiac muscle may suffer from a shortage of blood. Depending on how quickly you receive treatment, the extent of the damage may vary.
  • Failure of the heart. The heart can gradually become weak or stiff, making it harder to pump blood, due to narrowed heart arteries or high blood pressure. When the heart is not pumping blood as it should, it is said to be in heart failure.
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Unregular heartbeats can result from altered normal cardiac signaling brought on by insufficient blood flow to the heart.


The same healthy living practices that are used to treat coronary artery disease can also be utilized to prevent it. A healthy lifestyle can contribute to robust, plaque-free arteries. Follow these recommendations to improve heart health:

  • Stop using tobacco.
  • Manage diabetes, excessive cholesterol, and blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Consume a low-fat, low-sodium diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Stress reduction and stress management.

Take good care of your health.

To help you become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, kindly adhere to our recommendations. We provide current, factual assessments to improve your overall well-being. A group of business executives is creating educational materials on several health-related topics. We have put a lot of effort into educating you so that you can live the most fulfilling life imaginable. Along with learning about sound sleeping practices, you can read the most recent headlines.



  • Coronary artery disease
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