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Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the US
Two-thirds of US women who die suddenly of a heart attack had no symptoms
50% of heart attack victims have normal blood pressure
50% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women over age 25 in the United States

 

 

About Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term that includes conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiac arrest, heart failure, arrhythmias and congenital heart diseases.

The most common cause of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which is a blocked or narrowed coronary artery that supplies the heart with blood. That is about 71% of all heart disease deaths.


 

Cardiovascular disease is asymptomatic (no symptoms) 50% of the time and symptomatic (symptoms) 50% of the time. Lack of blood flow to the heart muscle can cause symptoms of chest discomfort or pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and sometimes palpitations and dizziness. Talking to your doctor about your symptoms, along with good routine medical care, are necessary first steps to determine if further evaluation is necessary. Many cardiac risk factors can be controlled, modified or eliminated, including hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, smoking and obesity/physical inactivity.

Risk factors include age, gender, family history of heart disease, ethnic background, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Other contributing factors include stress, depression, high alcohol intake, and sleep apnea.

It is estimated that 80% of cardiovascular disease can be reversed or eliminated.

Heart disease and its risk factors can be treated in three ways: by making heart healthy changes in your daily habits, by taking medication, and in some cases, by having a medical procedure. Lifestyle changes may include not smoking, following a heart healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, and becoming more physically active. When lifestyle changes are not enough to control heart disease and its risk factors, medications may be needed. Medications are often used to treat high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart disease itself. Advanced heart disease may require procedures to open an artery and improve blood flow. These procedures are usually done to ease severe chest pain or to clear blockages in blood vessels.