Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the most common causes of death in India. It is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries, which results in a reduction in blood supply which results in a reduction in blood supply to the heart muscle. In severe cases this leads to a myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack. Risk Factors: A high level of blood cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, mental stress, smoking and high BP are the main risk factors for CAD. Rigorous exercising is detrimental in middle-aged people who’ve been out of training. In women, increase in CAD has been associated with high dose estrogen pills. Diagnosis & Treatment: Detection involves the use of ECG, stress test and nuclear imaging. Management of CAD includes necessary changes in diet, smoking habits and lifestyle.

Drugs and surgery maybe suggested depending on the condition of the heart. Prevention: Cut down on saturated fat and increase the intake of fibrous foods, vegetables and fruits. Avoid excess consumption of salt and sugar. Control your weight.

Do not drink more than 4-5 cups of coffee a day.

Avoid large quantities of alcohol. Exercise regularly. In comparison reducing dietary cholesterol intake from 385 to 300 mg/day decreases the amount of absorbed cholesterol by only 45 mg per day.

For the overweight patients reducing excess body weight has a more significant quantitative impact on the mass of cholesterol the body must transport, metabolize and excrete daily than can be achieved by decreasing dietary cholesterol intake. Increased body weight probably has its greatest effect by increasing work-load of the heart. A mild stenosis associated with obesity can be critical in a situation of added stress. In the Framingham off-spring study, all obese subjects were found to have a higher ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol than subjects of normal weight.
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