Preventing Carotid Artery Disease
Twenty to thirty percent of all strokes are caused by carotid artery disease (CAD), the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the United States. CAD occurs when the carotid arteries, which provide the main blood supply to the brain, become narrowed or blocked. Individuals with carotid artery disease are at significantly higher risk of stroke, the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. The risk for stroke and death is twice as high for African Americans, which is why prevention through treatment of CAD is important.
Most often, carotid artery disease is not discovered in patients until after they have suffered a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Therefore, it is important for individuals to know the main risk factors associated with the disease, which include:
- history of smoking
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
Dr. Charles Fields, a vascular surgeon with Vascular & Vein Specialists of Greensboro and a member of Cone Health Medical Group, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about stroke risk and treating carotid artery disease.