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What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Coronary Heart Disease, is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries that supply your heart muscle (coronary arteries) with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in blood. The build up narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely for blood clots to form in your arteries, which can partly or completely block blood flow. This can cause angine or a heart attack.


How can Coronary Artery Disease be prevented or delayed?

Taking actions to identify and control your risk factors can prevent and slow down coronary artery disease. Know your family history of health problems especially those related to coronary artery disease. Early detection, making lifestyle changes, and taking prescribed medication are important steps.

Who is at risk for Coronary Artery Disease?

In Malaysia, Coronary Artery Disease has been the main cause of death (as stated by the Department of Statistics Malaysia for 2005 – 2008) for both men and women.


Many risk factors raise the probability of developing coronary artery disease. They are:

  • Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Age (the risk of CAD increases after age 45 for men and after age 55 for women)
  • Family history of early heart disease
  • High hsCRP and/or homocystein