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Coronary Artery Disease: Risk Factors, Causes and Treatment

Coronary Artery Disease: Risk Factors, Causes and Treatment 

Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease, is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrow or blocked due to the buildup of plaque. This can lead to a decreased blood supply to the heart, which can result in chest pain, heart attack, or even death. In this article, we will discuss the risk factors, causes, and treatment options for coronary artery disease.

  • Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease. Some of these factors cannot be changed, such as age, family history, and gender. Men are more likely to develop the condition than women, and people over the age of 65 are also at higher risk. Those with a family history of heart disease are also more likely to develop the condition.

Other risk factors, however, can be controlled. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. By managing these risk factors, individuals can reduce their chances of developing coronary artery disease.

  • Causes

Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that can accumulate on the walls of the arteries. Over time, this buildup can narrow or block the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart.

The exact cause of plaque buildup is not known, but certain factors can increase its likelihood. These include high levels of LDL cholesterol (also known as "bad" cholesterol), high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes.

  • Treatment

The treatment for coronary artery disease depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, lifestyle changes may be enough to manage the condition. This can include quitting smoking, managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing physical activity, and eating a healthy diet.

For more severe cases, medication may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of coronary artery disease. These may include medications to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, or medications to reduce the risk of blood clots.

In some cases, more invasive procedures may be necessary to treat the condition. These may include angioplasty, which involves using a balloon to widen the blocked artery, or stenting, which involves placing a small mesh tube in the artery to keep it open.

In the most severe cases, coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary. This involves taking a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body and using it to bypass the blocked artery, allowing blood to flow to the heart.


Coronary artery disease is a serious condition that can lead to chest pain, heart attack, and even death. While some risk factors, such as age and family history, cannot be controlled, others can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication. By taking steps to manage their risk factors and seeking appropriate treatment, individuals with coronary artery disease can improve their quality of life and reduce their risk of complications.

Jamil C. Mohsin, MD Dr. Mohsin is a board certified cardiologist who specializes in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Mohsin has been in practice as a clinical cardiologist since 1999. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Mohsin received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he also completed his medical internship and residency. He then pursued his cardiology fellowship at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and an interventional and endovascular cardiology fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital and Drexel University College of Medicine. Having served as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Mohsin transitioned to private practice in Houston, establishing the Heart & Vascular Center of North Houston. His philosophy is to provide advanced cardiovascular care utilizing the newest therapies and technologies while maintaining a personal and caring approach with his patients.

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