Men are implicated more frequently than women. In terms of races that are implicated more frequently, CAD is seen more often in Asian and South Asian populations. There have been more genes in these specific populations that are implicated in coronary artery disease as well.
Coronary artery disease (or CAD for short) is a disease in which there's decreased blood flow to your heart. This occurs over time in the form of Atherosclerosis, which is plaque buildup in the arteries of your heart that decrease the amount of blood flow that goes to your heart. The important thing to know is that this is the leading cause of death globally, affecting about 10 million to 150 million people annually, and about 20% of people over age 65 have this condition. It's also more common in men than women.
There are ongoing trials for newer possible therapies in treating coronary artery disease. There are very accepted guidelines and treatments and it is a very treatable condition but there are many new investigative trials looking at further, newer treatments. This includes possible stem cell therapy. It's very interesting to note that there have been over 60 genes that have been implicated in coronary artery disease and there are many trials going on right now that are looking at these genes and possible stem cell therapy in order to target these genes in order to either prevent or help treat this disease. These trials are very, very early in their stages and there's not too much data yet, but there is great potential in them.
Typically, most insurances will cover treatment for coronary artery disease - including medications, the diagnostic tests, and the follow-up with your doctor, as well as surgery.
It's important to know that coronary artery disease (or CAD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) are two different conditions but are very much linked. CAD is one of the biggest risk factors for CHF and a lot of tests that we do are similar in both. For example, an EKG can help to diagnose CAD as well as CHF and look different in both conditions. Coronary artery disease can cause heart attacks and can also cause heart failure, as decreased perfusion to the heart can then lead to what's called infarcts in the heart and therefore decreased wall motion. This in turn can cause heart failure as a weaker heart can then no longer pump blood to the body as sufficiently as it should. Some of the tests that we do (like I mentioned, EKGs as well as Echos) can detect differences in CAD versus CHF.
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