Overview

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease — also called coronary vascular, arteriosclerotic and ischemic heart disease — remains the leading cause of death in the United States. The disease is caused by arteriosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries," which interferes with the normal flow of blood to the heart. It affects the arteries that surround and supply blood to the heart, causing more than a half million deaths a year. When the heart doesn't receive enough blood, symptoms may include pain or pressure in the chest, arm or jaw. This is a warning sign that your heart is having difficulty. If left untreated, it can result in a heart attack.

Our Approach to Coronary Artery Disease

UCSF's cardiac specialists are leaders in preventing, diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease. We provide attentive, personalized care to people who may be at high risk, such as those with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, as well as those nearing middle age and worried about a lifestyle that may have taken a toll on their heart.

Our screening tools include laboratory tests to measure fats and cholesterol in the blood, nonsurgical imaging technologies that give doctors a window on the heart's function, and stress tests that show how the heart responds to exertion. We also offer a full range of heart disease prevention and treatment options, from medications and nutritional counseling to minimally invasive procedures and traditional surgery.

Finally, UCSF has a rapid mobilization team on call 24 hours a day to respond when a patient suffers a heart attack. At UCSF's cardiac critical care unit, these patients receive comprehensive, specialized treatment from a team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, pastoral care providers, physical therapists and respiratory therapists.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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