Myocardial ischemia occurs when the amount of oxygen that reaches your heart muscle is decreased. It is most commonly caused by coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.
The most common cause of CAD is due to the buildup of fatty deposits or cholesterol called plaque. The plaque that builds up over time limits the flow of blood through the coronary arteries and into the heart. Like any other muscle, the heart needs blood to stay alive. When the tubes that supply this blood stop working well, the heart also stops working well.
Atherosclerosis and plaque accumulation can begin to develop at an early age. As time progresses, this can continue to spread into the coronary arteries. Noticeable effects of CAD may not be experienced until later in life. However, it is very important to be aware of the risks before any symptoms become noticeable so you can take preventive measures.
Talk with your doctor about your risk of developing CAD and what preventative measures you can take.
Aging increases your risk of having CAD. It becomes even more of a concern after the age of 65.
Men have a greater risk of CAD than women. Women are still at risk, especially after Menopause. The difference in risk equals out at age 70.²
Parents or siblings with CAD, especially before the age of 50, will increase your risk for also developing CAD.
2. “Coronary Artery Disease.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, May 16, 2018.
3. 3. “Coronary Artery Disease.” Cleveland Clinic, n.d.
There are many preventive measures against CAD. These mostly take the form of healthy behaviors that can be started at any time. Turning these behaviors into habits that define your lifestyle will give you the best chances to prevent CAD from turning into a serious acute syndrome. Working these behaviors into your routine can also help to manage symptoms of CAD if you are at risk. Be sure to consult your physician about your heart health.
Eat fruits & vegetables
Effectively cope with stress
Avoid excess salt & fat
Right now we are offering scans across multiple registries at Mason’s CardioFlux Imaging Institute. Scans are for research purposes. CardioFlux is not FDA cleared.