What is cardiovascular disease?
- Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States with coronary artery disease (CAD) being the most common type.
- It develops over may years and is caused by a buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis).
- Atherosclerosis can lead to a partial or total blockage of the blood flow.
- A heart attack is sometimes the first sign of CAD. Chest discomfort often does not occur until CAD has been present for some time.
- Tests to detect CAD earlier are available so that preventive measures can be taken before a heart attack occurs.