Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) become hardened and narrowed. The arteries harden and narrow because of a buildup of plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. Narrow coronary arteries don't allow as much blood to flow to the heart. This reduces the amount of oxygen the heart receives and can lead to angina, heart failure, irregular heart rhythm, and heart attack.

CAD is the most common type of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. Other names for CAD are coronary heart disease (CHD), heart disease, and ischemic heart disease.

First, select your gender, then answer the resulting questions to help determine your risk for CAD.

Your gender?

References for Coronary Heart Disease Risk

  1. National Cholesterol Education Program, Third Report of the Expert Panel on the Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). CA NIH Publication No. 01-3670. 2001.
  2. Estimating Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Risk Using Framingham Heart Study Prediction Score Sheets National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute. Accessed on the World Wide Web at Framingham Study. 2002.
  3. Grundy S, et al. Summary of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Workshop on Cardiovascular Risk Assessment. Accessed on the World Wide Web at NHLBI. 2002.
  4. Grundy S, Pasternak R, Greenland P, Smith S, Valentine F. Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk by Use of Multiple-Risk-Factor Assessment Equations. Statement for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Circulation. 1999; 100:1481-1492.

This assessment is not intended to replace the evaluation of a health care professional.

Medical Reviewer: [Akin, Louise RN BSN, Gelfand, Eli MD, FACC, Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN, Lambert, J.G. M.D.]

Your Guide to Heart Disease


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