Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease) (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is heart disease?
- What are the risk factors for heart disease?
- What causes heart disease?
- What are the symptoms of heart disease?
- How is heart disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heart disease?
- What is the prognosis for heart disease?
- Can heart disease be prevented?
- Heart Disease FAQs
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What is the treatment for heart disease?
The goal is to maximize the quantity and quality of life and prevention is the key to avoid heart disease and optimize treatment. Once plaque formation has begun, it is possible to limit its progression by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with routine exercise, diet, and by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
A baby aspirin may be used for its antiplatelet activity, making platelets (one type of blood cells that help blood clot) less sticky and decreasing the risk of heart attack.
Medications may be prescribed in patients with heart disease to maximize blood flow to the heart and increase efficiency of the pumping function of the heart.
Beta blocker medications help block the action of adrenaline on the heart, slowing the heart rate. These medications also help the heart beat more efficiently and decrease the oxygen requirements of the heart muscle during work.
Calcium channel blockers also help the heart muscle contract and pump more efficiently.
Nitrates help dilate arteries and increase blood flow to the heart muscle. They may be short-acting to treat acute angina symptoms or long-acting preparations may be prescribed.
Should there be significant stenosis or narrowing of the coronary arteries, angioplasty and/or stenting (described above) may be considered to open the blocked areas. These procedures are performed in conjunction with cardiac catheterization. Depending upon the patient's anatomy and the extent of the blockage present, coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) may be required.
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