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Q: What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease develops when the blood vessels to your heart become damaged or clogged. Usually this occurs because fatty deposits called plaque buildup in the arteries, causing them to get narrower, and making it harder for blood to get through. When the heart doesn’t get enough blood, it can cause chest pain, or angina. Eventually, coronary artery disease can cause a heart attack.
There are several things you can do to help protect yourself from coronary artery disease. If you quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, get regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk. Other health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to coronary artery disease, so working with your doctor to manage these conditions can also help.

You may also need medications to reduce your risk of heart attack or surgery to help restore blood flow to the heart.

Shalin H. Patel, MD

Interventional Cardiology

Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic
85 Maui Lani Parkway
Wailuku, HI 96793