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Doctor Discusses Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is becoming one of the leading problems in the West, but it can also affect Cambodians, a doctor said Thursday.

“The major symptoms are chest discomfort or pain, uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that can be mild or strong,” said Dr. Taing Tek Hong, a physician in Florida, as a guest on “Hello VOA.” “This discomfort or pain lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.”

The disease results from a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Western societies and has cause one out of every five deaths in the US since 2002.

Coronary artery disease is caused by build-up of fatty materiel called plaque on the wall of the arteries, he said. This causes them to get narrow, leading to the slowdown or stopping of blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain (or angina) or a heart attack (or myocardial infarction).

Factors that increase the risk include tobacco use, alcohol abuse, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, age (in men over 40), excess body fat around the waist and lack of exercise.