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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is primarily caused by a process called atherosclerosis, which involves the build-up of plaque within the coronary arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, these deposits can accumulate and cause the arteries to become narrow and hardened, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle.

The risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) is higher if you are male, older, or have a parent or grandparent who had coronary artery disease before they were 50.  More than 18 million adults in the U.S. have coronary artery disease. According to the NIH, CAD accounts for approximately 610,000 deaths annually (estimated 1 in 4 deaths).

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