What Should I Know About Coronary Heart Disease

John Douglas, MD

Heart month 2011 has passed, but it’s always important to keep heart health on the top of your priority list throughout the year. In March, we will focus on coronary heart disease and a unique treatment option Emory physicians are performing for this disease. Let’s start with some background information about coronary artery disease, also referred to here as CAD.

CAD is the most common type of coronary disease. Some of the risk factors for the disease are smoking, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. If you are at risk for coronary heart disease, we recommend lifestyle changes such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking, or avoid smoky areas
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet
    • Reduce intake of animal-based foods and increase plant-based foods
    • Increase fish consumption to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake

Some traditional methods of treatment include:

  • Medical management such as:
    • Cholesterol lowering medications
    • Hypertension reduction medications
    • Aspirin
  • Angioplasty
  • Stents (bare-metal or drug-eluting)
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Heart transplant (last option)

In the next blog post by Dr. Michael Halkos, we will discuss more fully a newer treatment option that’s an alternative to traditional bypass surgery called coronary hybrid revascularization. The procedure is a less invasive procedure that combines heart surgery with heart stenting. Emory is one of a few centers in the nation studying this procedure.

Do you have questions about coronary artery disease? If so, visit the Emory Healthcare cardiology website at http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/interventional-cardiology or feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

About John Douglas, MD
Dr. John Douglas is an interventional cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. He is also a Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Cath Lab at Emory University Hospital. He is one of the most tenured Emory cardiologists, beginning his career in 1974. He has been recognized in America’s Top Doctors, Atlanta’s Top Doctors and The Best Doctors in America.

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