Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease include angina, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, nausea and weakness, according to Healthline. Feeling as if the heart is skipping beats, called palpitations, is another symptom. Narrowed arteries characterize this condition, causing an insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to the heart, particularly during exercise, says Mayo Clinic.
Coronary artery disease may have no noticeable signs at first, but signs may start occurring as plaque continues to accumulate in the coronary arteries, explains Mayo Clinic. The primary symptom of coronary artery disease is angina, which is a pain that can occur in the chest, left shoulder, neck, arms or in the back if the heart does not receive sufficient oxygen and blood, reports Healthline. The heart may become weak, causing heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms.
Doctors believe that coronary artery disease occurs from damage to the inner layer of a coronary artery, causing atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits build up in the arteries, notes Mayo Clinic. Causes include diabetes, smoking, inactive lifestyle and high blood pressure, causing narrowing and thickening of the arteries. The risk factors increase with age, a family history of heart disease, increased stress in life and high levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid for making and maintaining body tissue. Patients with signs of coronary artery disease should seek immediate medical attention, advises Healthline.