Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease in America and Europe and is a serious health problem worldwide. The incidence of CAD is lower in Asian countries, particularly Japan, where diets are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
CAD occurs from atherosclerosis, when arteries become narrow and hardened due to cholesterol plaque build-up. Further narrowing may occur from thrombi (blood clots) that form on the surfaces of plaques. Angina (chest pain) or dyspnea (shortness of breath) may be present.