Coronary heart disease (CHD)/coronary artery disease (CAD): You may hear these terms used interchangeably. And in many respects, there isnt a great difference between them. They both refer to a narrowing of the hearts arteries caused by plaque buildup. You might think of CHD as the result of CAD. CAD could be viewed as the long-term process of plaque forming in your coronary arteries, while CHD is a condition that results from years of plaque buildup.