Coronary Artery Disease: Risk Factors and Prevention
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with coronary artery disease, or CAD, being the most common type. Your heart is a muscle and just like any other muscle in your body, it requires its own supply of blood. Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle harden and narrow by a process known as atherosclerosis (ATH-er-o-skler-O-sis.) Atherosclerosis is a gradual buildup of plaques in blood vessels that feed your heart and your coronary arteries are susceptible to it. Plaques are deposits of calcium, cholesterol, fat and other materials found in your blood.
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