Coronary artery disease happens when fatty deposits called plaque (say "plak") build up inside your coronary arteries. Those are the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to your heart. Plaque buildup reduces the amount of blood that gets to your heart. It can lead to chest pain or heart attack.
Coronary artery disease (also called CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It's also the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.
Last Revised: October 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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