Coronary artery disease: Causes, symptoms, treatment, tips to stay healthier | Health

Coronary artery disease happens due to the plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that tend to supply blood to the heart (called coronary arteries) and other areas of the body. The plaque buildup is seen due to cholesterol and calcium deposits in the artery hence, the arteries may narrow over time and one can also suffer from atherosclerosis.

Risk factors for CAD:

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, revealed, “Having a sedentary lifestyle can make you fall prey to CAD. Yes, you have heard it right! You will be shocked to know that certain factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, poor eating habits and smoking can raise the risk of CAD. Moreover, those with a family history of heart disease also increase the chances of CAD. High blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol are known risk factors.”

Symptoms of coronary artery disease:

According to Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, “Angina or chest pain and discomfort, is commonly seen in people with coronary artery disease. Chest pain is in the centre of chest right behind breastbone ‘ or left shoulder pain or sometimes jaw pain. This happens typically after walking for sometime’ Other signs are nausea, sweating, breathing difficulty, and even light-headedness. If not tackled at the right time, CAD will lead to heart attacks.”

Diagnose tips:

Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre highlighted, “The first step is recognising symptoms and taking medical advice on time. Your treating doctor will ask you to do for ECG, echo cardiogram, or an exercise stress test to check if you have coronary artery disease.”


Explaining that once the diagnosis is confirmed then you need to follow the instructions given by the doctor, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre said that there are 3 types of treatment available for coronary artery disease –

1) medical management and lifestyle modification

2) Angioplasty

3) Bypass Surgery

Depending on the severity and number of blocks in your angiography report the most appropriate treatment option is selected.

Tips to stay healthier after recovering from coronary artery disease:

Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre highlighted, “Lifestyle modification is important aspect along with regular medicines and follow-up checkups. Control of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are most important factors determining your long term benefits after bypass surgery. One will have to adhere to a well-balanced diet. Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of all the vital nutrients. Try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and pulses. Avoid junk, spicy, oily, and canned food. Quit smoking, stay stress-free, exercise daily and maintain an optimum weight.”