For some people, the coronary arteries become narrowed, usually by a process called atherosclerosis in which cholesterol and other substances are deposited in the arterial wall. With progressive narrowing, the blood supply to the heart muscle gradually decreases, and eventually becomes insufficient to supply the needs of the heart muscles. This usually results in chest pain or angina pectoris during exertion or stress, but may also manifest as breathlessness, irregular heart rhythm or fatigue. When a blood vessel suddenly obstructs completely, a full-blown heart attack occurs. This is known as CAD which is one of the most common diseases and a major cause of death in Singapore.
The most common symptom is chest pain (also known as angina). Most will describe it as experiencing chest discomfort, heaviness, tightness, squeezing, pressure, aching, burning, numbness or fullness. Some could mistake it for heartburn or indigestion. Although it is usually felt in the chest, it may also be felt in the left shoulder, arms, neck, back or jaw.
Your doctor will diagnose CAD based on:
There are various treatments for CAD. These include: