What is coronary artery disease?
The coronary arteries are smooth walled tubes that feed oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease is the gradual build up of plaque in the coronary arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. As atherosclerosis continues, the coronary arteries can begin to narrow and become clogged. This build-up blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Without adequate blood flow, the heart muscles does not get the oxygen it needs to pump properly. The symptoms from this blockage can be as mild as a feeling of fatigue or as severe as crushing chest pain. Symptoms may progress slowly over time or can seem to come on suddenly. This is described as acute coronary syndrome.
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