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What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.

The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.”

Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.

Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.

Life saving advice from an expert

Risk Factors

Risk factors for developing heart disease include:

  • Age
  • Male gender
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy for cancer
  • Poor diet
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene

Signs and Symptoms

Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. Men are more likely to experience chest pain while women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue.

Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
  • Fluttering in your chest
  • Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting

Take Our Heart Disease Risk Assessment

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Terms & Conditions

By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.