When the coronary arteries narrow, they are unable to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart, especially when it’s beating hard. As more plaque builds up and lines the walls of the arteries, blood flow becomes increasingly suppressed and symptoms start to surface.

Normally patients start by feeling chest pain (angina) triggered by physical or emotional stress, manifested as a pressure or tightness in the chest, as if someone were standing on it.

There is also a constant “shortness of breath” and fatigue since the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Finally, when plaque builds up inside the artery and eventually completely blocks it a heart attack occurs.