Health Facts

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of deaths in India and coronary artery disease is one among them. CAD develops when your heart's blood vessels become damaged or inflamed. As a result, cholesterol-containing plaques deposit in your coronary arteries, blocking the flow of blood through it.
The coronary arteries supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nourishment. Plaque development can restrict the blood flow to the heart muscles, which can result in chest pain, shortness of breath, or other signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease. A heart attack might be caused by a total blockage.

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease:

High level of LDL in blood can increase the risk for other conditions such as:

Chest pain (angina)

Shortness of breath

Light headedness and nausea

Pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulders

Causes of Coronary Artery Disease:

Apart from plaque development, there are other reasons and risk factors that can cause CAD in adults, like:

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol

Diabetes or Insulin Resistance

Smoking

High Alcohol Intake

Sedentary Lifestyle (Physical Inactivity)

Obesity

High Stress

Unhealthy Diet

Risk factors of Coronary Artery Disease

Along with the causes, some other factors that increase the likelihood of CAD are listed below:

  • Old age
  • Gender (men are more likely)
  • Family history
  • Genetics

Diagnosis and treatment:

In addition to physical examination, tests such as ECG, echo cardiogram, cardiac CT scan, exercise stress test can help in diagnosis.

The treatment is aimed at reducing the risk factors, and also preventing complications. Lifestyle changes like eating healthy, quitting alcohol and smoking, exercising regularly and maintaining healthy weight and blood pressure, are usually recommended for CAD treatment. in addition to these changes, some patients would need medications, for example to decreases blood pressure, to normalize blood sugar, to reduce cholesterol levels etc.

FAQ's :

Single genetic difference (mutation) can influence the risk of getting heart disease. A genetic defect can alter the way a specific protein functions, causing the body to absorb cholesterol differently and increasing the risk of artery blockage.

Both blood pressure and coronary artery disease have been linked to the GUCY1A3 and NOS3 genes. Furthermore, in a large family prone to early CAD, loss-of-function mutations in GUCY1A3 were found to be linked to an increased risk of myocardial infarction.

The genetic basis of coronary artery disease (CAD) are comparable to those of environmental variables. On the basis of studies, the heritability of CAD has been estimated to be between 40% and 60%.

Yes, genetic testing is available and is informative and useful for the clinical management of different inherited cardiovascular diseases.

References:

  1. Coronary Artery Disease. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16898-coronary-artery-disease Accessed on 19-05-2022
  2. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/coronary_ad.htm Accessed on 19-05-2022
  3. Coronary artery disease. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350619 Accessed on 19-05-2022
  4. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Familydoctor.org. https://familydoctor.org/condition/coronary-artery-disease-cad/ Accessed on 19-05-2022
  5. Integrating Genes Affecting Coronary Artery Disease in Functional Networks by Multi-OMICs Approach. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2018.00089/full#h10 Accessed on 19-05-2022

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