Coronary artery disease can lead to:

  • Chest pain (angina). When your coronary arteries narrow, your heart may not receive enough blood when demand is greatest — particularly during physical activity. This can cause chest pain (angina) or shortness of breath.
  • Heart attack. If a cholesterol plaque ruptures and a blood clot forms, complete blockage of your heart artery may trigger a heart attack. The lack of blood flow to your heart may damage your heart muscle. The amount of damage depends in part on how quickly you receive treatment.
  • Heart failure. If some areas of your heart are chronically deprived of oxygen and nutrients because of reduced blood flow, or if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack, your heart may become too weak to pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. This condition is known as heart failure.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Inadequate blood supply to the heart or damage to heart tissue can interfere with your heart's electrical impulses, causing abnormal heart rhythms.
Apr. 12, 2014