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Heart Disease

DID YOU KNOW?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. This includes coronary artery disease, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and also strokes.

Atherosclerosis

Cardiovascular disease includes hypertension (high blood pressure), which can lead to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) in the wall of the arteries. This narrows the arteries, limiting blood flow and leading to a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, heart racing, dizziness, fainting, or even no symptoms at all in some cases (silent disease). Treatment and prevention may include life style modifications, medication, and also special procedures.

Cardiovascular disease symptoms may vary between men and women. For instance, men are more likely to experience chest pain, while women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and extreme fatigue.

Symptoms:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in legs or arms (if blood vessels in those parts of the body are narrowed)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, and/or back

One might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It is important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular examinations.

Prevention:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Controlling high blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Lifestyle choices (including regular exercise)
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