Heart DiseaseCoronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Let's Talk About Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

All your vessels are important, but the ones that bring blood to heart? Those are major—and keeping them healthy is crucial.

    Our Pro PanelCoronary Artery Disease (CAD)

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in coronary artery disease (CAD) to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.Director of Cardiovascular Health & Lipidology

    Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital
    Manhasset, NY
    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPH

    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPHDirector of Clinical Cardiology

    Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
    Queens, NY
    David Friedman, M.D.

    David Friedman, M.D.Director of Heart Failure Services

    Northwell Health’s LIJ Valley Stream
    Long Island, NY
    heart anatomy illo

    Frequently Asked QuestionsCoronary Artery Disease (CAD)

    I don’t have any CAD symptoms. Do I need to worry?

    Worry is a strong word—so let’s just say: Be proactive. CAD symptoms don’t often begin until the plaque buildup has narrowed an artery by 70%. However, plaque can rupture, which causes heart attacks, and this commonly occurs when a blockage is only a 50% obstruction. If you have any CAD risk factors, discuss them with your doctor.

    What symptoms of CAD should most concern me?

    While chest pain and shortness of breath are hard to ignore, it can be difficult to decide what’s important if you have vague symptoms like nausea. In most cases, after all, nausea is NOT due to CAD. But if you have known risk factors for heart disease and are worried that you may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

    What is the most important CAD treatment?

    Lifestyle modification is the cornerstone therapy for halting the progression of CAD. The most beneficial? Exercise. Regular workouts get your heart pumping; reduce inflammation, cholesterol and blood pressure; improve the health of your blood vessels; lower stress; and make you feel—and even look—good, too.

    How does my mental health affect my CAD treatment?

    If you have heart disease, you’re at higher risk of depression. That makes addressing mental health one of the most important things you can do for CAD. If you’re not doing well emotionally, you’ll be less likely to take your medications as directed, and you might find it harder to stick to a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. Talk to your doctor if you feel anxious or depressed.

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s covered everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus.