Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) can be used interchangeably, as one is the precursor to the other. In simple terms, Coronary Heart Disease is a narrowing of the artery, gradually restricting blood flow to the heart, which in turn, could lead to a heart attack.

According to Edward A. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and an American Heart Association volunteer, there are some traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease. Some are controllable, some are not.

These include:

  • high LDL Cholesterol,
  • low HDL cholesterol, 
  • high blood pressure,
  • family history,
  • diabetes,
  • smoking,
  • being post-menopausal for women, and
  • being older than 45 for men.
  • Obesity may also be a risk factor.

But the news isn’t all bad, says Fisher, who is also former editor of the American Heart Association journal, ATVB. There is a large body of research which indicates that “preventive measures instituted early are thought to have great lifetime benefits.”

In fact, Fisher continues, “living a healthy lifestyle that incorporates good nutrition, weight management and getting plenty of physical activity can play a big role in avoiding CAD.”

Why wait?

There are countless ways you can get active, but walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your overall health. It's easy and has the lowest drop out rate. 

The bottom line is that CAD and CHD are preventable and within our control. By implementing some simple changes to our daily lives, we can reap major benefits over the course of our lifetimes.