Your coronary arteries supply blood and oxygen to your heart. If anything causes them to narrow, thicken or harden, it makes your heart work harder. Since your heart already works hard, beating 100,000 times a day, any more strain can be deadly over time. Coronary artery disease refers to often preventable conditions that may result in a heart attack.
Every year more than 370,000 Americans die from coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease in the world. It’s the root cause of many other heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure and heart attacks. When it’s diagnosed, you need a complete medical examination by one of the best cardiologists at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center. Your doctor needs to assess if and how much your arteries are damaged.
Your coronary arteries supply blood to your heart muscle. Coronary artery disease results in compromised blood vessels. High cholesterol and fatty deposits called plaque, build up in your coronary arteries, restricting the flow of blood.
The build-up takes years to develop, and you only experience signs of coronary artery disease when your arteries are really damaged. Signs that your coronary arteries are blocked include:
Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease
A sedentary lifestyle plays a role in whether you develop a heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Decreasing your alcohol intake and quitting tobacco use also significantly decrease your risk for coronary artery disease.
Genetics is another reason for the disease, especially if your family members were diagnosed at an early age. You’re at risk if your father or brother was diagnosed with heart disease before they reached 55 years — or your mother or sister was diagnosed before they reached 65 years old.
Aging also increases your risk of damage to the walls of your arteries. And while men are more prone to heart diseases, the risk for women increases after menopause. African American women are twice as likely to suffer from a heart condition than Caucasian women.
Your heart is the hardest-working organ in the body. Certain medical conditions can interrupt your heart function. Blocked blood vessels are linked to several heart conditions. Other medical conditions that also increase your risk include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart valve disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- High triglyceride count, especially in women
- C-reactive protein in abnormal amounts or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein
- Sleep apnea
Most of these medical conditions affect your heart or your arteries negatively. For example, some conditions harden your artery walls or narrow the functional space in your arteries, which makes your heart work harder. These conditions may also increase the pressure inside your arteries. If you have a history of these problems, make sure you get a check-up from a top cardiologist in NYC.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 200,000 heart disease-related deaths are preventable. Lifestyle changes help strengthen your heart muscles and decrease the build-up of fatty deposits. Heart-healthy lifestyle habits improve your well-being and help you avoid treatments like coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty and stent placement.
Hard-hitting facts to persuade you to change your habits include:
- Heart disease claims the life of one person every 38 seconds
- 45 percent of Americans have hypertension
- 23 million Americans are diabetic
- 95 million Americans have high cholesterol
- 30 percent of Americans do not exercise
You can avoid being a statistic by taking matters into your own hands. Some heart-healthy tips include:
- Keep a check on your blood sugar levels.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables to lower your cholesterol.
- Control your high blood pressure by eating low sodium meals and practicing meditation for stress.
- Lose weight if you’re obese.
- Exercise once a day for at least 30 minutes.
- Quit smoking and keep your alcohol consumption to one glass a day.
There are several tests that a good cardiologist, like one from the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, may ask you to take. These tests determine the current state of your heart. Based on the results, you may have to take medications, aspirin, beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. The tests you’ll undergo include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test measures the electrical impulses that travel to your heart. Heart irregularities, like a previous heart attack or an imminent stroke, show up on an ECG graph.
- Sound waves create images of your heart, which helps your cardiology doctor find evidence of prior heart attacks, any present blood clots or problems in your pericardium.
- Stress testing. This involves doing physical activities — such as walking on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike — to get your heart pumping. It’s the most effective way to diagnosis coronary artery disease.
- Coronary calcium CT scan. A specialized x-ray, this scan shows the locations of calcium-rich plaque in your arteries. It helps your doctor measure how much plaque is in your arteries.
To get the help you need, contact the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center. It’s the first step toward living a long, healthy life.
If you have any questions for the best in class Manhattan cardiologist, top coronary artery disease specialist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for the coronary artery disease treatment consultation.