(StatePoint) Whether you are at-risk for developing a heart condition or you're one of the 13 million Americans who suffer from coronary artery disease, arming yourself with the facts you need to stay healthy can help.
February is National Heart Health Month and it's a great time to learn about coronary artery disease, its symptoms and about the latest developments in treatment.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is caused when plaque buildup creates blockages or narrowings in the arteries. The blockages restrict blood flow and reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart, potentially putting a person at risk for a heart attack.
Common symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and overall weakness.
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage coronary artery disease. These include managing obesity and high blood pressure, living an active lifestyle, making healthy dietary choices and stopping smoking.
Staying on top of the latest medical advances helps ensure you and loved ones secure the best treatment available.
One advancement in treatment is supported by new results from the FAME 2 Study funded by St. Jude Medical and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that use of a blood-flow measurement technology, called Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) during treatment of stable coronary artery disease will result in better health outcomes.
FFR technology offers physicians a better assessment of where blood flow blockages occur in the coronary arteries and whether treatment to open an artery narrowing, along with medication, can help lower a patient's risk of chest pain and heart attack.
From less likelihood of a patient being readmitted to the hospital for urgent care, to a reduction in health care costs, FAME 2 research demonstrates that patients who receive FFR-guided treatment experienced better outcomes than those treated with medication alone.
"The FAME 2 Study results offer further evidence that FFR should be considered the standard of care for treating patients with coronary heart disease," said Frank J. Callaghan, president of the Cardiovascular and Ablation Technologies Division at St. Jude Medical.
If you believe you have coronary artery disease, consult your physician for additional information and to determine best treatment options.
More information on FFR is available at: www.sjm.com/ffr-fact-sheet.