Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased.
When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the reduced blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.
Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.
Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, you might not notice a problem until you have a significant blockage or a heart attack. However, there’s plenty you can do to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. A healthy lifestyle can make a substantial impact.
Causes of Chest Pain Explained
Causes of chest pain can be related to a variety of symptoms. Over six million people visit hospital emergency annually because of chest pain.
Causes of chest pain can vary from life-threatening conditions to those that are relatively harmless. The most common causes of chest pain are musculoskeletal (30-50%) and gastrointestinal conditions (10-20%).
Pain due to coronary artery disease may radiate to the neck, jaw, and arms. Pleuritic pain typically worsens with respiration. Such pain is associated with several conditions of the heart and lungs.
Chest pain associated with body position or certain movements is possible of musculoskeletal origin, and so is a well-localized pain associated with tenderness on palpation (pushing on the spot).