Heart disease is currently the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and costs the country about $1 billion per day. If you're concerned about your heart, you have the power to protect your health.
According to the American Heart Association, about 80% of heart disease is preventable. Routine exams and screenings can let you know whether you're at risk for cardiovascular problems. If you already have heart disease, it's not too late to take action. The right treatment can extend your lifespan and reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. Learn more about what you can do to keep your heart healthy.
The term "heart disease" describes a variety of conditions that affect your heart. Some forms of heart disease are congenital or have been present since birth. Other types develop later in life. Heart disease can affect people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups.
All adults should talk to their doctor about regular heart disease screenings. Routine screenings can identify possible heart problems and risk factors. In some cases, your doctor may also perform specialized cardiac tests. These tests and screening tools help your doctor diagnose heart problems earlier.
What are Some Common Heart Problems?
When diagnosed early, CAD is often treatable. Unfortunately, many people with CAD don't realize they have it. CAD doesn't always cause symptoms so that it can go unnoticed for many years. Without treatment, CAD often leads to a heart attack or stroke.
What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?
In the early stages, heart disease often has no symptoms. Some people may notice slight shortness of breath or dull chest pain, while others may tire quickly. But signs can be subtle and hard to see. Many people with heart disease assume they're just getting older. They often fail to report their symptoms to their doctor.
As heart disease progresses, it can cause:
- Pain in jaw, neck, or shoulder
- Numbness or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fluttering in the chest
- Grayish or bluish skin
- Swelling in legs, abdomen, or face
The sooner your heart disease is detected, the better the outcome. Keep an eye out for any changes in your body or energy levels. If you notice a new symptom, contact your doctor right away. They can determine whether this symptom is a sign of heart disease.
Who is at Risk for Heart Disease?
Anyone can develop heart disease, but men are generally at higher risk throughout their life. In women, the risk of heart disease increases after menopause. Both men and women are more likely to experience heart problems after age 65.
How Is Heart Disease Treated?
If you're diagnosed with heart disease, your primary care doctor may send you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in heart problems. They can help you develop a heart disease treatment plan.
There are many forms of heart disease, and each one requires specialized care. Your cardiologist can review your options.
Medication often improves your heart function and prevents health problems. Lifestyle changes can also cut your risk of heart disease, but if you have a life-threatening heart problem, your cardiologist may suggest surgery. Heart surgery helps clear blockages and clots from your arteries. It can also repair damage caused by an injury or infection.
After surgery, you may need to spend some time in a rehabilitation facility. The rehab team can help you regain your strength and mobility.
More About Heart and Vascular Conditions
Heart Disease Risk Factors
About half of all Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease:...
Resources for Related Issues
The following resources can be helpful in learning more about managing your heat disease or...
Types of Heart Diseases
Not commoningly known, but there are many different types of ehart disease. Some are congenital...
What Can I Do to Protect my Heart's Health?
Keeping a healthy weight cuts your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack. But...
Heart and Vascular Health Articles
on May 19, 2020 09:53:10
There are many things that can raise your risk for heart disease. Some of them you cannot control, but there are many that you can control. Healthy lifestyle choices can lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
on Feb 19, 2020 00:00:27
Getting struck by cupid can trigger an undeniable heart flutter, but that’s not the only heart condition that should be recognized this February. February also represents American Heart Month, a health holiday that is dedicated to raising awareness about the glaring public health threat posed by...
on Feb 27, 2019 15:47:59
A diagnosis of heart disease from your physician can cause a myriad of emotions. As you recover from the immediacy of the new medical situation, you may find yourself in emotional turmoil. You may feel scared, alone and confused. You may even feel like a totally different person. But there are...
on Feb 12, 2019 16:25:05
The last thing an elementary school teacher wants is a day when students are overloaded on sticky, gooey, chocolate treats. So if you’re a parent or guardian, consider staying away from packaged candy, calorie-laden chocolate treats, and offerings packed full of added sugar and virtually no...
on Feb 01, 2019 15:40:08
Every year, about 735,000 American have a heart attack. Of these, more than a half-million, or 525,000, are experiencing their first heart attack. Additionally, 210,000 people annually have another heart attack, after a previous cardiac event.
on Feb 14, 2018 09:59:14
With the celebration of American Heart Month underway, it’s the perfect time to talk about the benefits that eating fish can have on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
on Feb 16, 2017 08:46:02
Cardiovascular disease, or a range of conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels, can lead to heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Every year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack – and of those, 525,000 are experiencing the condition for the first time. According to...