Dr. Atiemo explains how you increase your risk for developing coronary artery disease. He also discusses how this disease is treated and diagnosed.
Read the full transcript »
The Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease There are a number of very important risk factors that are known to contribute to coronary artery disease. Certain risk factors are modifiable and the key ones include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. There are other risk factors including advanced age and a family history of coronary artery disease as well. Patients who present with symptoms for coronary artery disease can undergo a number of tests to secure the diagnosis. Often the tests that are performed include an electrocardiogram, which records the electrical activity of the heart, an echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart, which can help to give detailed information about the structure and the function of the heart. Patients are often also referred for various types of stress tests; perhaps the most common type of stress test is a treadmill stress test, which can also give the doctor a variety of pieces of information including prognostic information about the heart. There are a number of very key treatments for coronary artery disease. Medical management is one of the most important treatments and what I mean by that is that patients who have coronary artery disease will need to focus on risk factor modification. That may include treatment of high blood pressure, medications to help treat the cholesterol – these are given along with other treatments such as aspirin, which acts as a mild blood thinner. It also is very important for patients to maintain a heart healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet along with a program of regular exercise.