Coronary artery disease (CAD) is characterized by damage to your coronary arteries, which carry blood to your heart. In most cases, CAD develops as a result of the formation of deposits, or plaque, within the arteries. If left untreated, CAD can lead to angina, heart attack, and heart failure. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors of CAD. Your doctor may recommend diagnostic tests at an imaging center, such as a heart scan using computerized tomography (CT) technology or a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), which uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
A few of the risk factors of CAD are uncontrollable, which means that you cannot avoid them with lifestyle changes or medications. These include age and gender. Although men are at a higher risk of CAD, the risk for women increases after menopause. For both genders, advancing age is a risk factor. Additionally, you have a higher risk of CAD if you have a family history of the disease, particularly if a close relative was diagnosed at a young age.
Many of the risk factors of CAD are controllable and you can reduce your risk by making healthy modifications to your lifestyle. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation methods to lower your risk. Being overweight or obese and leading a physically inactive lifestyle also raises your risk. People who report having significant, chronic stress are at an increased risk.
Work with your doctor to manage any medical conditions that can increase your risk of CAD, such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels. Having sleep apnea, a type of sleep disorder, is another risk factor. In addition, high levels of homocysteine, C-reactive protein, lipoprotein, and fibrinogen are additional risk factors.
If you are at an increased risk of coronary artery disease, talk to your doctor about scheduling a heart scan at Advanced Medical Imaging of Denver. Residents of Lakewood, Boulder, and Denver can also take advantage of our state-of-the-art MRI scans. Give us a call at (303) 647-6504 if you have any questions about heart scans or MRIs. At AMI, we offer cost-effective self-pay plans and are contracted with most insurance carriers.