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Cardiovascular Disease

 Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. CAD occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol deposits and its buildup in the arteries can narrow and harden them over time. This process is called atherosclerosis.

Plaque buildup can cause angina, the most common symptom of CAD. Angina is chest pain or discomfort resulting from decreased blood supply to the heart muscle. For some people, the first symptom of CAD is a heart attack. A heart attack (myocardial infarction) can occur when a part of the heart muscle dies or gets damaged due to reduced blood supply.  It is important to seek treatment for a heart attack immediately.

Over time, CAD can weaken the heart muscles. This may lead to heart failure, a serious condition where the heart cannot pump blood the way it should. Other symptoms that can occur is arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat.

If you have CAD, you can reduce the risk of heart attack or prevent the worsening of the disease by following some lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, and smoking cessation) and medications that are recommended by your doctor.

For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:




The purpose of the South Asian Total Health Initiative is to improve the delivery  of culturally responsive, family-centered care to diverse populations. SATHI provides technical assistance/consultation, education/training, and research/evaluation services. SATHI does not provide medical advice or clinical professional services. Any medical assistance or other decisions should be made in consultation with your physicians. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will not be liable for any complications, injuries, or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance upon any information obtained from this website or on the Internet.


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