Coronary artery disease (CAD) happens when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are narrowed or blocked. The cause is usually build-up of fatty material (plaque) in the arteries over time. This plaque build-up, and the arteries’ response to it, is called atherosclerosis. Sometimes this plaque can cause clots to form. This blocks blood flow and can be life-threatening.
Risk factors for CAD are: age, gender (males are at higher risk), family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity. The risk of developing CAD grows with the number of risk factors a person has.