South Texas Health System and STHS Clinics Raising Awareness of Coronary Artery Disease Through Episode of Their "South Texas Healthy Living" Television Program

Monday, February 26, 2024

If you’re experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, coronary artery disease – a precursor to a heart attack – may be to blame, according to health experts.

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease, accounts for approximately 610,000 deaths annually in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with about one in 20 U.S. adults aged 20 and older having the life-threatening disease.

Sometimes referred to as coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart and other parts of the body. Over time, plaque buildup causes the inside of the arteries to narrow, which can partially or completely block blood flow

Left untreated, coronary artery disease can lead to other heart conditions, some of which are life-threatening, including cardiogenic shock, heart attack, heart failure and arrhythmia. The risk factors of coronary artery disease include excess weight or obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, issues that are prevalent in the Rio Grande Valley.

During American Heart Month, South Texas Health Systems (STHS) and South Texas Health Systems Clinics (STHS Clinics) helped raise awareness of coronary artery disease by dedicating the February episode of their monthly televisions show "South Texas Healthy Living" to the deadly disease. 

Watch Previous Episodes of "South Texas Healthy Living" 

To watch previous episodes of “South Texas Healthy Living” and the system’s South Texas Health Updates, one minute videos offering education on various health issues, visit South Texas Health System’s Medical Minute page on

 Broadcast live on Sunday, February 25 at 11 a.m. on KVEO-TV NBC 23, the program features a sit-down interview with Dr. J. Castro, FACC, FACP an interventional cardiologist with South Texas Health System Clinics, who will offer education on the complications of coronary artery disease, as well as how the disease is diagnosed and treated.

Additionally, STHS System Director of Marketing and Public Relations and South Texas Healthy Living host Tom Castañeda sits down with a 60-year-old local woman who underwent double-bypass surgery after a cardiac CT screening and risk assessment found severe plaque buildup in her coronary arteries to learn more about her battle with the disease and her advice for others in the community.

The program also features a healthy cooking segment with South Texas Health System McAllen’s director of dietary and nutrition services, an exercise demonstration with South Texas Health System Edinburg Rehabilitation Services staff, and key prevention advice.

“Along with recognizing the risk factors of coronary artery disease early, it’s imperative that people take precautions to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and improve their overall heart health,” says Castañeda. “From maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, refraining from smoking and limiting their alcohol intake to getting enough sleep and reducing their stress levels, there are simple steps community members can take to prioritize their health and be heart smart. Through our ‘South Texas Healthy Living’ program, we’re helping people get healthy and stay healthy!”