Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The team of expert physicians at St. Louis Heart and Vascular, with locations in St. Louis, Des Peres, St. Charles, and Bridgeton, Missouri, and Granite City, Illinois, provide comprehensive care for adults of all ages with coronary artery disease, from initial diagnosis to effective treatment options. If you’re concerned about developing coronary artery disease as a result of heredity or lifestyle factors, call the office nearest you to schedule a consultation.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when your coronary arteries become damaged or diseased as a result of fat and cholesterol buildup in your artery walls. Your coronary arteries supply blood to your heart, and when they become clogged with fat and cholesterol from your bloodstream, it sticks to the walls in your coronary arteries. This then makes it difficult for blood to flow freely through the arteries to your heart.
If the arteries become too narrow, or blocked completely, your heart may not get the blood and oxygen it needs. As a result, you may experience chest pain or even a heart attack. Sometimes, a heart attack is the first sign that you even have coronary artery disease, and in many cases it's too late at that point to make lifestyle changes.
The nationally recognized team of cardiologists at St. Louis Heart and Vascular take every measure to provide comprehensive testing for an accurate diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Your doctor may perform diagnostic testing that includes:
If you have a moderate risk for heart disease based on your health and family history, a coronary calcium scan provides vital information to your doctors before a serious or life-threatening situation occurs. A coronary calcium scan, or heart scan, is a specialized X-ray that shows images of your heart so the team of doctors can detect and measure plaque in your arteries.
The heart scan indicates the amount of calcified plaque you have, which can help identify if you're at risk of coronary artery disease before you experience any symptoms. Essentially, a coronary calcium scan may indicate a need for lifestyle modifications or medications that can reduce your risk of a heart attack in the future.
Treatments for coronary artery disease often include committing to making healthier lifestyle choices to promote artery and heart health, including:
Your medical team at St. Louis Heart and Vascular may also prescribe certain medications that can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and thin your blood.
If you have a family history of heart attacks or coronary diseases and you think you may be at risk of coronary artery disease, call one of the St. Louis Heart and Vascular offices to make an appointment as soon as possible. It may save your life.