Coronary Heart Disease

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

The leading cause of death among Americans adults both male and female, coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when fatty substances in the blood harden into plaque and accumulate on the walls of the arteries. This accumulation of plaque causes the arteries to narrow, slowing and even stopping the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart and dramatically increasing your risk of suffering a heart attack.

What Symptoms and Risk Factors are Associated with Coronary Heart Disease?

While later stages of CHD may cause symptoms such as angina (chest pains), fatigue, weakness and lethargy, and shortness of breath, the early stages often do not present any noticeable symptoms. However, if you are aware of the risk factors, you can either request that your primary care physician refer you or you can self-refer to our office for testing and diagnosis. Common risk factors for CHD include issues both within and outside of your control:

  • Age (the older you get, the greater your risk)
  • Sex (men and post-menopausal women are at greater risk)
  • Family history of coronary heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

Other factors, such as sleep apnea and high levels of certain types of proteins, have been linked to CHD but still require more research before a causal relationship can be established.

How Does My Cardiologist Treat Coronary Heart Disease?

As with all cardiovascular disorders, the earlier your doctor can identify and successfully diagnose a problem, the more effective and conservative treatment we can provide. The physicians at Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana can offer several methods for controlling coronary heart disease, including medications that lower your blood pressure, treat diabetes, and lower your cholesterol levels. Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as switching to a heart-healthy diet high in fiber and plant-based foods and low in salt and saturated fats, can have a powerful impact on your ability to combat CHD. If your condition has progressed beyond the point where medication and lifestyle changes can adequately protect your heart, your cardiologist may opt for a surgical procedure after discussing various treatment plans with you.

Talk to Your Acadiana Cardiologists About Your Heart Health

To schedule an appointment with Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana, please contact our office at (377) 534-4356. Our four offices proudly serve patients in the Lafayette community as well as the entire Acadiana region.