PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We throw around the term coronary artery disease and talk about it as something to avoid. Most people know they don’t want to get coronary artery disease. But what exactly is it?

The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply our heart with blood and oxygen. It is the oxygen carried in the blood that the heart craves.

The interesting point is that the coronary arteries are not supplying the blood that is being pushed all throughout the body. All they are doing is supplying the heart muscle. But without that blood the muscle cannot survive. The areas of the heart that don’t receive the blood die and become ineffective and pumping.

Heart muscle that cannot pump is worthless and can actually make the heart less efficient at its job.

The simplest way to explain chest pain is that the heart is screaming out saying I’m not getting enough oxygen.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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