What is coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease begins when damage leads to the development of plaque building up within the artery wall. This plaque buildup begins to narrow the arteries carrying blood to the heart. As more plaque builds up, your artery has trouble supplying blood to your heart muscle when it needs it most.
Plaque may tear, completely blocking the artery, or a blood clot (medically known as a thrombus) may plug the narrowed opening, which causes coronary artery disease.
The American Heart Association estimates that over 16 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease—it's the 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S.