What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) affects over 15 million people in the United States. It is the leading cause of death for men and women.1 

CAD affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It occurs when the passageway through the coronary arteries, or heart arteries, becomes narrowed by a buildup of plaque, including cholesterol, fatty deposits, calcium, and other substances.

Did you know?

If you have disease in arteries in one part of your body, you likely have disease in other arteries in your body:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary (heart) arteries.
  • Carotid artery disease happens when plaque builds up in the carotid arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your brain).
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when plaque builds up in the major arteries of the legs, arms, and pelvis.