There is a common and dangerous trend happening in America and probably in many other country's of the world.  A fifty year old man with an apparent perfect picture of  good health all of a sudden dropped dead.  Autopsy report is usually done to find out why such an unexpected death of a man in his fifties dying mysteriously. The verdict will always be reported as "Heart attack". It has been found that the leading cause of death in Western nations is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Unfortunately about 30% of people with CAD the first sign of the disease is death!  This blog will explain coronary artery disease and how you can avoid or reverse it.

What is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)?
CAD is caused by damage to the linings of the coronary arteries which are small blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This blood vessels become hardened or in medical term atherosclerosis occurs. The blood vessels become narrowed from plaque buildup and eventually complete blockage. At this point blood flow to the heart is decreased and the person start feeling pain or angina. When the vessels become completely blocked from plaque buildup the tissues beyond the point of blockage dies from lack of oxygen and blood flow.  This is when there is serious danger because the person's heart may no longer receive enough oxygen blood flow. Damaged heart muscles are prone to abnormal heart rate (rhythms). This abnormal heart rates (dysrhythmias) are the cause of the sudden death of people with Coronary heart disease.

Causes and Predisposing factors of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
1. Smoking -  The habit of smoking directly damages the coronary arteries thereby predisposing them to spasms and plaque buildup. Smokers are also more prone to fatal rhytm problems if they have a heart attack.
2. High Blood pressure - If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure it damages the coronary arteries thereby speeding up the buildup of blockage.
3. High Cholesterol -  The existence of high cholesterol causes inflammation of the arteries, which is to say it makes the arteries sick and that leads to plaque buildup which will block blood flow to the heart.
4. High blood Sugar -  Diabetic people have high blood sugar which accelerates the process of atherosclerosis which means fatty buildup in the arteries.
5. Sedentary lifestyle - Lack of exercise or the lifestyle of inactivity leads to elevated blood pressure which worsens blood fats as well as contributes to elevated blood sugar.

What to do to prevent Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
1. Stop Smoking - A smoke free lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do to prolong your life and prevent CAD.   Smoking cessation will decrease your risk of cancer, alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis and more.
2. Regular Exercise - An active lifestyle with exercise will strengthen your heart muscles, decreases triglycerides levels and improves the "good cholesterol"  or the HDL. IExercise will also help lower your blood sugar and blood pressure.  People who live an active lifestyle on average has a 45% decreased risk of developing heart disease. 
3. Join a Support Group - It may be difficult for some people to make the necessary changes alone, so joining a support group is not a bad idea. That is a support group that is working on stopping, reversing or preventing heart disease.

Here are some websites that may help you or connect you with CAD support group.

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