Arteries carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients away from the heart. Coronary refers to the heart, so coronary arteries are arteries that supply the heart. Coronary artery disease develops when those particular blood vessels become damaged or diseased. A common cause is plaque build up in those blood vessels. That in turn narrows the coronary arteries and decreases blood flow to the heart. This is something that usually develops over a period of decades and leads to a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Chest pains are a typical symptom along with pressure or tightness in the chest. This type of chest pain is called angina. Shortness of breath is also another common sign and symptom, and if problems persist, then the risk of heart attack increases greatly. There is no single cause of coronary artery disease, but things like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise have all been linked as causes. A person can help prevent becoming at risk of developing coronary artery disease by paying attention to specific risk factors. Eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and getting plenty of exercise are three ways that a person can proactively work toward preventing the disease. Stress is also related to the disease, so stress management is key. This could mean changing jobs, but it could also mean simply taking up exercise as a way to manage stress. The diet and exercise regiment will also help maintain healthy weight levels, and that will help prevent the disease as well.