Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Looking for Advanced Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease? Orange County Relies on Hoag.

For patients with coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart attack, and other cardiac conditions that can seriously impact heart health, Hoag’s Coronary Artery Disease Program has a dedicated, multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular specialists ready to help you.

Our neighbors in Irvine, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, San Clemente and other communities know that Orange County’s best patient care and most advanced cardiovascular treatment can be found at Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute, right here, close to home. If you have questions, send a message to our subspecialized treatment team at Hoag today.

Visit this link to learn more about the advanced interventions and surgical techniques Hoag specialists use in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). Or read on to learn more about CAD, including symptoms, potential complications, causes and ways to reduce your risk.

Coronary Artery Disease: What is It?

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease, is a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which are the large blood vessels on the surface of the heart that supply blood to the heart muscle.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women.

Coronary artery disease usually occurs due to atherosclerosis, which involves the buildup of a wax-like substance called plaque on the coronary artery walls. Plaque is usually a combination of cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste and a byproduct of blood clotting called fibrin.

Eventually, the buildup of plaque on the artery walls can lead to a narrowed or blocked artery. This can limit blood flow to the heart, starving the heart muscle of nutrients and oxygen (a condition known as ischemic heart disease). Over time, or if a blood clot forms and suddenly blocks the artery, that can seriously affect the function and health of the heart, potentially even causing the heart muscle to become damaged or die.

If the plaque buildup becomes extensive enough that it blocks blood flow, coronary artery disease can lead to serious complications and heart conditions, including severe chest pain, heart failure, heart attack, cardiac arrest and sudden death.

What are the Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?

Like any form of heart disease, the symptoms of coronary artery disease can vary from patient to patient. Some people don’t experience any symptoms of coronary artery disease until a blocked or narrowed artery severely hinders or stops blood flow to the heart and causes them to experience a heart attack.

Symptoms of coronary artery disease may include:

  • Chest pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort, (also known as angina) especially during physical activity or emotional stress
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Recurring nausea
  • Recurring pain or numbness in the upper body or left arm
  • Shortness of breath, especially during activities
  • Heart arrhythmia, which is an erratic or irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Death

What are the Different Types of Coronary Artery Disease?

There are two major forms of coronary artery disease:

Stable ischemic heart disease: Stable ischemic heart disease is a chronic form of coronary artery disease in which plaque buildup causes coronary arteries to narrow gradually over a course of years. As the plaque collects in the coronary arteries, the amount of oxygenated blood reaching the heart muscle is reduced, but patients can perform most day-to-day activities.

Acute coronary syndrome: Acute coronary syndrome is the more dangerous type of coronary artery disease. In these cases, plaque buildup in a coronary artery breaks apart or “ruptures.” That can lead to blood clots and a sudden blockage, preventing blood to the heart muscle, leading to a sudden heart attack.

Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) Care at Hoag

Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) is a coronary artery blockage that has been present for more than three months.  CTO is a complication of coronary artery disease and results from a severe buildup of fat deposits in the arteries. Learn more about Chronic Total Occlusion here.

How Common is Coronary Artery Disease?

Due to factors like sedentary lifestyles, obesity, diets that are high in sugar, cholesterol and carbohydrates and other issues, coronary artery disease (also known as coronary heart disease) is very common in the U.S. It’s estimated that more than 18 million adults in the U.S. have CAD, with more than 350,000 Americans per year dying of the condition. CAD is the number one cause of death globally.

What Causes Coronary Artery Disease?

Atherosclerosis — plaque buildup in the blood vessels that supply the heart — is the primary cause of coronary artery disease.

Lifestyle choices and risk factors that contribute to or cause atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease include:

  • Being older, as coronary artery disease is most common in men over 45 and women over 55.
  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Eating an unhealthy diet, including a lot of saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle, without much exercise
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Having untreated high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol levels
  • Having certain medical conditions, including diabetes/unregulated blood sugar, chronic kidney disease and certain autoimmune diseases

Can Coronary Artery Disease be a Sign of Other Serious Underlying Conditions?

Patients with coronary artery disease often have plaque buildup and narrowed arteries in other parts of their body, which can potentially lead to other serious cardiovascular conditions such as carotid artery disease and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

How Is Coronary Artery Disease Diagnosed at Hoag? With the Latest Advancements in Technology.

Coronary Artery Disease is America’s #1 killer. At Hoag, we take the diagnosis of this potentially deadly disease very seriously. That’s why we use the latest and most advanced diagnostic and imaging technology available: to provide patients a diagnosis they can count on.

Visit this link to learn more about the techniques Hoag cardiovascular specialists use to diagnose coronary artery disease.

Who Is Most at Risk to Develop Coronary Artery Disease?

There are several risk factors that can result in an increased risk of developing CAD. Risk factors for CAD include:

  • Having a high blood pressure, particularly if elevated blood pressure is undiagnosed and untreated for a long time
  • Having a family medical history of heart disease, heart attack, chest pain, heart failure, coronary heart disease or other cardiovascular risk factors
  • A sedentary lifestyle and not getting much exercise
  • Eating a diet that’s high in LDL cholesterol, saturated fats and carbohydrates, without many heart-healthy foods
  • Smoking

How Can I Prevent Myself from Developing Coronary Artery Disease?

Preventing CAD, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases often involves leading a heart-healthy lifestyle, or making lifestyle changes designed to improve your overall health and strengthen the heart. These lifestyle changes may include:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet that is low in LDL cholesterol, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats
  • Regular exercise
  • Having regular medical checkups and seeking medical care for issues like elevated blood pressure, blood sugar irregularities, high cholesterol and other factors that can impact your heart, arteries and overall cardiovascular function.
  • Regulating stress

Explore screening, diagnosis and treatment options for coronary artery disease available at the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute.

Do Cardiac Issues Have You Worried? Advanced Coronary Artery Disease Treatment in Orange County at Hoag.

Whether it’s our commitment to next-generation diagnostic options or our groundbreaking work in less-invasive cardiovascular procedures, the heart specialists and experienced cardiologists at Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the vascular system and heart, including coronary artery disease.

From Hoag’s Heart Rhythm Program that is changing the lives of patients with arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, to the Coronary Artery Disease Program, every doctor and specialist at Hoag is ready to work collaboratively to meet the high standard of compassionate, patient-centered cardiac care Orange County deserves.

Find the answers you need at Hoag. Call or use our online form to contact us for more information.


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