Coronary Artery Stenosis

"Coronary Artery Stenosis: The Silent Threat Leading to Sudden Death" by Dr. Watcharin Prasertsud, M.D., Internal Medicine Specialist in Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting of Coronary Arteries.

Coronary artery stenosis, commonly known as the "silent threat," is the leading cause of sudden death. It may or may not present warning signs, and even individuals with good physical health, such as athletes, journalists, or young people, can suddenly collapse.

Some individuals may experience warning signs but mistake them for other conditions, such as heartburn, chest discomfort, symptoms resembling acid reflux, shoulder pain, abdominal discomfort around the upper abdomen, jaw pain, or toothache.

The risk factors for coronary artery stenosis can be divided into two categories:

  1. Controllable factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, consumption of sugary, oily, and salty foods, as well as foods high in trans fats.
  2. Uncontrollable factors include gender, with males being at higher risk than females. However, post-menopausal females have a similar risk to males. Additionally, the risk increases with age, and genetics also play a role.

For individuals diagnosed with coronary artery stenosis, the first step is to reduce controllable risk factors and follow the doctor's recommendations, which may include medication. In cases where coronary angiography reveals stenosis in more than one vessel with more than 70% narrowing, medication alone may not be sufficient. Balloon angioplasty is performed to expand the narrowed coronary arteries, and in some cases with more than three stenoses, heart bypass surgery may be necessary.

Prevention of coronary artery stenosis involves reducing controllable risk factors, such as regular exercise (at least 30-40 minutes per day, five days a week). Those with risk factors for heart disease should undergo annual heart health check-ups. 

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