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See our Privacy Statement is brought to you by and is intended to provide basic information that you can use to make informed decisions about important health issues affecting you or your loved ones. We hope that you’ll find this information about Heart Disease helpful and that you’ll seek professional medical advice to address any specific symptoms you might have related to this matter.

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Heart disease is the #1 killer of American men and women. But, it doesn't have to be. There are many steps you can take to prevent and manage heart disease and live a long, healthy life.



What is heart disease?

What causes heart disease?

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

What are the symptoms for heart disease?

What are the treatments for heart disease?

How can I prevent heart disease?

Where can I buy home test kits for contributing factors of this condition?


What is heart disease? (top)
The term heart disease is a general term that covers a number of diseases, which affect the heart. This includes coronary artery disease (the most common and the one discussed on this page),
congenital heart disease and heart valve disease.

Coronary heart disease is the buildup of plaque on the inside of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to heart muscle.

What causes heart disease? (top)

Many lifestyle factors contribute such as cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and obesity. Serum cholesterol and hypertension play a major role the formation of heart disease.

What are the risk factors for heart disease? (top)

There are two categories of risk factors for heart disease those that can be changed and those that can't be changed.

Changeable risk factors:

  • Hypertension

  • Cholesterol levels

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Physical inactivity

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Alcohol intake

Non-changeable risk factors:

  • Age, the older you get the greater your risk

  • Sex, men are at higher risk than women

  • Race

  • Family history

  • Personal medical history

What are the symptoms for heart disease? (top)

Personal medical history Each type of heart disease has different symptoms, although many heart problems have similar symptoms. The symptoms you experience depend on the type and severity of your heart condition. Learn to recognize your symptoms and the situations that cause them. Call your doctor if you begin to have new symptoms or if they become more frequent or severe.

The most common symptom is angina. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing or painful feeling in your chest. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina is usually felt in the chest, but may also be felt in the left shoulder, arms, neck, throat, jaw or back.

Other symptoms that can occur with coronary artery disease include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Palpitations (irregular heart beats, skipped beats or a "flip-flop" feeling in your chest)

  • A faster heartbeat

  • Weakness or dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Sweating

Heart attack symptoms include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone

  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm

  • Fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)

  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness

  • Extreme weakness, anxiety or shortness of breath Rapid or irregular heartbeats

  • During a heart attack, symptoms last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or oral medications (medications taken by mouth).

Some people have a heart attack without having any symptoms (a "silent" MI). A silent MI can occur among all people, though it occurs more often among diabetics.

If you think you are having a heart attack, DO NOT DELAY. Call for emergency help (dial 911 in most areas). Quick treatment of a heart attack is very important to lessen the amount of damage to your heart.

What are the treatments for heart disease? (top)

Factors that affect the choice of treatment in coronary artery disease include the severity of your chest pain, the results of your tests, and your preferences. There are medications, surgical and non-surgical options that your doctor should discuss with you for your particular situation. A few of these options are below;


  • Aspirin or other antiplatelet medications -  These drugs work in various ways to prevent the formation of blood clots.

  • Beta-blockers - reduce the workload on the heart by slowing the heart rate, which allows the heart to pump more efficiently. A more rapid heart rate caused by exertion and excitement increases the workload on the heart.

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors - lower your blood pressure and reduce the strain on the heart. They may also reduce your risk of a future heart attack or developing heart failure.

  • Statins - lower your blood cholesterol and may reduce your risk of a future heart attack.

  • Nitrates (nitroglycerin and long-acting nitrates) - relieve chest pain and other symptoms of angina.

  • Calcium channel blockers - slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure to reduce your heart's workload. They also help dilate your coronary arteries and reduce angina.

Surgical Procedures:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery is done to go around a portion of an artery that has been narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis).

  • Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR) uses a laser beam to improve blood flow to heart muscle. TMR often relieves symptoms in people who are no longer good candidates for surgery or angioplasty

Non Surgical Procedures:

  • Angioplasty - a procedure done to open a partially blocked blood vessel so that blood can flow through it more easily. It is most often done on arteries that deliver blood to the heart (coronary arteries) when they are narrowed by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) or blood clots and is the most widely used method within the United States.

  • Atherectomy - performed less frequently than angioplasty and only at large medical centers. During atherectomy, plaque is shaved away from the inside of the coronary arteries. Atherectomy is done when angioplasty is not possible, because of the location or the size of the plaque

How can I prevent heart disease? (top)

Click here to buy home test kits for
contributing factors of this condition







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