Coronary artery disease - Definition

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Coronary artery disease is an illness that is most often due to an accumulation of cholesterol in the coronary arteries, those which supply blood to the cardiac muscle. The cholesterol partially obstructs these arteries and reduces their diameter. The output of blood diminishes and the heart is no longer sufficiently oxygenated: this can lead to troubles in its functioning or, even more serious, its arrest. Coronary artery disease is occasionally asymptomatic, but it may be accompanied by thoracic pains and in time provoke a heart attack if a clot forms and completely blocks a coronary artery.