Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack, and about one in every four deaths is due to coronary heart disease.

Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to the build-up of plaque.

Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque can restrict or block the flow of blood through the arteries. This can lead to chest pain (angina), heart attack, or other serious Heart problems.

Coronary heart disease can often be prevented by making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking.

If you have already been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, there are treatments available that can help to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or other serious Heart problems.

If you think you may be at risk for coronary heart disease, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you make lifestyle changes that may reduce your risk or determine if you need further testing.