Definition of Heart Disease: The term heart disease includes several conditions. But the term most often refers to coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the NIH. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Heart Disease? Atherosclerosis — a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries — poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking all increase the risk for atherosclerosis. As atherosclerosis develops, the coronary arteries narrow and weaken increasing the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
Is Heart Disease Contagious? No.
Medical Term: Coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease refer to what is commonly called heart disease.
Signs & Symptoms: Chest pain, shortness of breath and pain; numbness, weakness and coldness in the arms and legs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes puts you at risk for developing heart disease. If you have signs of a heart attack, immediately call 911.
Treatment & Remedies: A healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking and, if needed, losing weight. Medicines include blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, statins, and calcium channel blockers, among others. Some cases are treated with bypass surgery to reroute blood flow to the heart or with angioplasty, which is a procedure to expand narrowed arteries.For more information and facts on heart disease click here!