What You Need to Know
The shock of being diagnosed with coronary artery disease can leave you feeling scared and uncertain about what lies ahead. But taking the steps to learn more about your condition, and what you need to do to help reduce your risk for having a heart attack or stroke, can help you make informed decisions about your health in the future.
What is CAD?
CAD is a progressive condition that is a result of plaque buildup that blocks your arteries from supplying blood to your heart. When your heart does not get proper blood flow, it can no longer pump the amount of oxygen and nutrients your muscles need to keep you healthy and active.
Understanding CAD Could Help Lower Your Risk for Blood Clots
People with CAD have a high risk for blood clots due to a rupture of plaque in the arteries.
When plaque ruptures and forms a blood clot, it can cut off blood flow to your heart or brain and cause serious, life-threatening events:
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular death
Treatments for CAD
Common treatments for CAD include certain procedures to restore blood flow to your heart:
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
- Stent implantation
- Angioplasty cardiac rehabilitation
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
However, even with a procedure, you’re still at risk of blood clots that can cause a heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death. Your healthcare professional may prescribe medicines to help reduce your risk for blood clots. Although many people with CAD take only a daily aspirin, it may not be enough to reduce blood clot risk.
Why Aspirin Alone May Not Be Enough
A large study of almost 40,000 people, including those with coronary artery disease (CAD) or peripheral artery disease (PAD), showed that even though more than half were taking aspirin, the number of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths more than doubled over a two-year period.*
Your healthcare professional may prescribe a blood thinner in addition to your daily aspirin to help reduce your underlying risk for blood clots that can cause a heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death.
*According to the 2003–2004 REACH Registry — European Heart Journal
Read Learning About XARELTO® for more information about how XARELTO® works with aspirin to help reduce your risk for life-threatening blood clots related to CAD.