Heart disease doesn’t discriminate. It’s the leading cause of death for several populations, including Caucasians, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Almost half of Americans are at risk for heart disease, and the numbers are rising.
体育投注网址While heart disease can be deadly, it’s also preventable in most people. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits early, you can potentially live longer with a healthier heart.
体育投注网址Heart disease encompasses a wide range of cardiovascular problems. Several diseases and conditions fall under the umbrella of heart disease. Types of heart disease include:
The term cardiovascular disease may be used to refer to heart conditions that specifically affect the blood vessels.
体育投注网址Different types of heart disease may result in a variety of different symptoms.
Congenital heart defects are heart problems that develop when a fetus is growing. Some heart defects are never diagnosed. Others may be found when they cause symptoms, such as:
CAD is plaque buildup in the arteries that move oxygen-rich blood through the heart and lungs. Symptoms of CAD include:
Cardiomyopathy is a disease that causes the muscles of the heart to grow larger and turn rigid, thick, or weak. Symptoms of this condition include:
体育投注网址What’s more, 80 percent of the women in the study reported experiencing these symptoms for at least one month before their heart attack occurred.
体育投注网址Common heart disease symptoms in women include:
体育投注网址Heart disease is a collection of diseases and conditions that cause cardiovascular problems. Each type of heart disease is caused by something entirely unique to that condition. Atherosclerosis and CAD result from plaque buildup in the arteries. Other causes of heart disease are described below.
体育投注网址Causes of an abnormal heart rhythm include:
This heart disease occurs while a baby is still developing in the womb. Some heart defects may be serious and diagnosed and treated early. Some may also go undiagnosed for many years.
Your heart’s structure体育投注网址 can also change as you age. This can create a heart defect that may lead to complications and problems.
体育投注网址Several types of cardiomyopathy exist. Each type is the result of a separate condition.
Bacteria, parasites, and viruses are the most common causes of heart infections. Uncontrolled infections in the body can also harm the heart if they’re not properly treated.
体育投注网址Smoking, for example, is a controllable risk factor. People who smoke double their risk of developing heart disease, according to the .
People with diabetes may also be at higher risk for heart disease because high blood glucose levels increase the risk of:
If you have diabetes, it’s essential to control your glucose to limit your risk for developing heart disease. The reports that people who have both high blood pressure and diabetes double their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Other risk factors for heart disease include:
体育投注网址Although these risk factors aren’t controllable, you may be able to monitor their effects. According to the , a family history of CAD is especially concerning if it involved a:
Non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and people of Asian or Pacific Island heritage have a higher risk than Native Alaskans or Native Americans. Also, men are at greater risk for heart disease than women. In fact, the CDC estimates between
体育投注网址Finally, your age can increase your risk for heart disease. From ages 20 to 59, men and women are at for CAD. After age 60, however, the percentage of men affected rises to between 19.9 and 32.2 percent. Only 9.7 to 18.8 percent of women that age are affected.
体育投注网址Your doctor may order several types of tests and evaluations to make a heart disease diagnosis. Some of these tests can be performed before you ever show signs of heart disease. Others may be used to look for possible causes of symptoms when they develop.
The first thing your doctor will do is perform a physical exam and take an account of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Then they’ll want to know your family and personal medical history. Genetics can play a role in some heart diseases. If you have a close family member with heart disease, share this information with your doctor.
Blood tests are frequently ordered. This is because they can help your doctor see your cholesterol levels体育投注网址 and look for signs of inflammation.
体育投注网址A variety of noninvasive tests may be used to diagnose heart disease.
体育投注网址If a physical exam, blood tests, and noninvasive tests aren’t conclusive, your doctor may want to look inside your body to determine what’s causing any unusual symptoms. Invasive tests may include:
Treatment for heart disease largely depends on the type of heart disease you have as well as how far it has advanced. For example, if you have a heart infection, your doctor is likely to prescribe an antibiotic.
体育投注网址If you have plaque buildup, they may take a two-pronged approach: prescribe a medication that can help lower your risk for additional plaque buildup and look to help you adopt healthy lifestyle changes.
Treatment for heart disease falls into three main categories:
Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent heart disease. They can also help you treat the condition and prevent it from getting worse. Your diet is one of the first areas you may seek to change.
A low-sodium, low-fat diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables may help you lower your risk for heart disease complications. One example is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
A medication may be necessary to treat certain types of heart disease. Your doctor can prescribe a medication that can either cure or control your heart disease. Medications may also be prescribed to slow or stop the risk for complications. The exact drug you’re prescribed depends on the type of heart disease you have.
In some cases of heart disease, surgery体育投注网址 or a medical procedure is necessary to treat the condition and prevent worsening symptoms.
For example, if you have arteries that are blocked entirely or almost completely by plaque buildup, your doctor may insert a stent in your artery to return regular blood flow. The procedure your doctor will perform depends on the type of heart disease you have and the extent of damage to your heart.
体育投注网址Some risk factors for heart disease can’t be controlled, like your family history, for example. But it’s still important to lower your chance of developing heart disease by decreasing the risk factors that you can control.
Having healthy blood pressure and cholesterol ranges are some of the first steps you can take for a healthy heart. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A healthy blood pressure is considered less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, which is often expressed as “120 over 80” or “120/80 mm Hg.” Systolic is the measurement of pressure while the heart is contracting. Diastolic is the measurement when the heart is resting. Higher numbers indicate that the heart is working too hard to pump blood.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk factors and heart health history. If you’re at a high risk of heart disease, have diabetes, or have already had a heart attack, your target levels will be below those of people with low or average risk.
As simple as it sounds, managing stress can also lower your risk for heart disease. Don’t underestimate chronic stress体育投注网址 as a contributor to heart disease. Speak with your doctor if you’re frequently overwhelmed, anxious, or are coping with stressful life events, such as moving, changing jobs, or going through a divorce.
Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are also important. Make sure to avoid foods high in saturated fat and salt. Doctors recommend
体育投注网址If you smoke, stop. The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict, making it harder for oxygenated blood to circulate. This can lead to atherosclerosis.
If you’ve recently received a heart disease diagnosis, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to stay as healthy as possible. You can prepare for your appointment by creating a detailed list of your everyday habits. Possible topics include:
体育投注网址Seeing your doctor regularly is just one lifestyle habit you can take up. If you do, any potential issues can be caught as early as possible. Certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure, may be addressed with medications to lower your risk of heart disease.
体育投注网址Your doctor may also provide tips for:
Making these changes all at once might not be possible. Discuss with your healthcare provider which lifestyle changes will have the biggest impact. Even small steps toward these goals will help keep you at your healthiest.
Heart disease can’t be cured or reversed. It requires a lifetime of treatment and careful monitoring. Many of the symptoms of heart disease can be relieved with medications, procedures, and lifestyle changes. When these methods fail, coronary intervention or bypass surgery might be used.
体育投注网址If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of heart disease or if you have risk factors for heart disease, make an appointment to see your doctor. Together, the two of you can weigh your risks, conduct a few screening tests, and make a plan for staying healthy.
体育投注网址It’s important to take charge of your overall health now, before a diagnosis may be made. This is especially true if you have a family history of heart disease or conditions that increase your risk for heart disease. Taking care of your body and your heart can pay off for many years to come.
Last medically reviewed on March 30, 2018