Symptoms of coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a serious illness that may go unnoticed until suddenly discovered. Patients who experience symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath are advised to consult a doctor for further investigation. 

The heart’s basic function is to provide fresh oxygenated blood to all the body’s organs. At rest, a normal adult heart pumps at a frequency of about 60-70 beats per minute. The muscle is surrounded by small arteries called coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and calcium which narrows the small arteries around the heart. The accumulation makes it difficult for the blood to reach the heart muscle. CAD is a serious illness responsible for 31% of deaths globally.1

Is my chest pain caused by CAD?

The risk of suffering from CAD increases with age and is higher for men than for women.1 Medical research has shown a strong connection between coronary artery disease and certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, as well as diabetes, obesity, cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Stress, genetics and your medical history may also increase the risk. Chest pain and shortness of breath are classic symptoms of CAD, but can also be related to muscle pain, stomach conditions and stress. Your general practitioner will consider your symptoms, medical history and lifestyle when deciding how to proceed on the diagnostic pathway. Waiting for a diagnosis can be both stressful and time-consuming for you as a patient. However, clinical studies have shown that less than 10% of patients referred to non-invasive testing are suffering from coronary artery disease.2,3.4


Setting a diagnosis

There are two traditional methods of diagnosing CAD: functional tests, and coronary artery calcification and narrowing tests. The latter method involves procedures that need to be conducted at a hospital or another clinical facility. The CADScor®System is a new complement to the traditional diagnostic methods and can be carried out by any trained healthcare professional to rule out CAD at an early stage.

1. World Health Organization, Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), May 17 2017.
2. Therming, C. et al. Low Diagnostic Yield of Non-Invasive Testing in Patients with Suspected Coronary Artery Disease: Results From a Large Unselected Hospital-Based Sample. Eur Heart J – Qual Care Clin Outcomes 2018: 4, 301-308
3. Winther, S. et al. Diagnostic performance of an acoustic-based system for coronary artery disease risk stratification. Heart 2018: 104, 928-935
4. Douglas, PS et al. Outcomes of anatomical versus functional testing for coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 2015: 372, 1291-1300