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When a person has CAD, the blood supply to their heart is reduced. This starves the heart of vital oxygen and blood. Symptoms of CAD can include shortness of breath, weakness, or chest/jaw/arm pain (angina). This often happens during exertion. If the artery is blocked totally or for a long time, this can result in a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Not everyone at risk for a heart attack has CAD symptoms before it happens. A heart attack can be the first sign of CAD. People with chronic CAD or heart attacks can progress to heart failure. CAD is a major cause of death.

IMPORTANT: Chest pain or discomfort not relieved by rest or medications and lasting longer than 5 minutes may be a heart attack or unstable angina: call 911 to get emergency medical treatment.