Heart Health

Heart Health

Risks for heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Preventing or managing these conditions can improve heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women, ahead of cancer, diabetes, and accidents. In people with heart disease, blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, reducing blood flow to the heart and brain, and increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

You may not realize you’re at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, because high blood pressure symptoms usually don’t emerge until blood pressure has already reached a dangerous level. That’s why this disease is often termed a “silent killer.” At the dangerous stage, high blood pressure symptoms can include shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and severe headache.

Having high blood pressure over time forces the heart to work harder. Eventually, the heart begins to grow—a condition known as enlarged heart. If an enlarged heart isn’t treated with medicine, devices, or surgery, it can lead to complications such as heart failure.

Some people with an enlarged heart develop a heart murmur—a whooshing or swishing sound caused by abnormal blood flow through the heart. A heart murmur isn’t necessarily dangerous, but doctors do monitor it because it can be a sign of an underlying heart condition.

In heart disease, a sticky substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. When an area of plaque breaks off and becomes lodged in a blood vessel supplying the heart, it can block blood flow and cause part of the heart muscle to die. This is a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain; discomfort in the arms, back, shoulders, and neck; shortness of breath; and nausea.

Poor blood flow to the heart can produce chest pain called angina. Although angina is not a heart attack, it is a sign of heart disease and can warn of a future heart attack. Other angina symptoms include discomfort in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back.

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Understanding Heart Failure: Symptoms to Know

Understanding Heart Failure: Symptoms to Know

· · Heart Health

Though it sounds like a condition in which the heart stops beating altogether, heart failure is actually a problem that develops when the heart can no longer pump enough blood and oxygen to meet the body’s needs. It’s a serious and complicated health challenge. But if you and your physician  … Read More

What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

· · Heart Health

You may have heard the phrase “congestive heart failure” used interchangeably with “heart failure.” That’s because the symptoms of heart failure usually involve congestion throughout the body. Less blood being constantly circulated means less excess fluid being filtered by the kidneys into urine. That additional fluid is known as congestion,  … Read More

Recognize Atherosclerosis Symptoms That Indicate Heart Disease

Recognize Atherosclerosis Symptoms That Indicate Heart Disease

· · Heart Health

What causes coronary artery disease (CAD) is a process called atherosclerosis. Symptoms develop when cholesterol, fats, and other substances such as white blood cells collect in the walls of the blood vessels that keep the heart supplied with blood—the coronary arteries. Cholesterol and other materials form plaques. Unfortunately, atherosclerosis symptoms  … Read More

What Is Heart Disease?

What Is Heart Disease?

· · Heart Health

Many people ask these types of questions: What is congestive heart failure? How do heart attack symptoms in women differ from heart attack symptoms in men)? What is hypertension? And what is heart disease? Yet there is no simple way to define cardiovascular disease, because it’s actually a broad term  … Read More



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