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What is Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD)?

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
June 3, 2024
June 10, 2024

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD), are all different names for the same disease. CAD is caused by atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fatty deposits (atheroma) in the coronary arteries. Over time, as gradually build up more fatty deposits, they can lead to vital arteries in and out of the heart or brain to become narrowed or blocked, reducing the amount of blood that can get to the heart or brain. As a result, having this disease puts a person at higher risk of getting a coronary death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (heart attack) , or fatal or nonfatal stroke.

How Do I Calculate My Risks?

This is a simple method patients and clinicians may use to estimate 10-year and lifetime risks for heart attack or stroke. If you are over 40, you can easily find your risk level. Just enter some basic information about your lifestyle, cholesterol and BP here:

Reducing the risks:

Stopping smoking for just two years can reduce your risks by at least 10%. Lowering your systolic blood pressure to normal can help lower risk by 5-10%Exercising regularly, eating healthfully, getting your A1C in target range of 6.5-7% if you're diabetic are some basic ways to reduce your risk. If you have high cholesterol, lowering the Total and boosting HDL cholesterols can also significantly reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.Talk to your Unified Care team and your doctor about ways to improve your numbers. Read more of our articles about Heart Health for more information.

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