What is heart disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), or “heart disease,” includes coronary heart disease (heart attack or angina), congestive heart failure, stroke and congenital heart defects. High blood pressure is also considered a cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is our No. 1 killer.
According to the American Heart Association, CVD is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women, killing nearly twice as many people as cancer (25% of people die on the way to the hospital). Coronary heart disease alone is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and stroke is No. 3. Most Americans have multiple cardiac risk factors. One in four U.S. adults have high blood pressure. More than 70% of adults are overweight or obese, as are more than 8 million children. There are many types of heart disease:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – America’s No.1 killer affects over 13 million Americans.
- Enlarged Heart (Cardiomegaly)– This can have various causes – usually high blood pressure or CAD.
- Irregular Heart Rhythm – Also known as arrhythmia, includes atrial fibrillation – a common arrhythmia.
- Heart Valve Disease – A common form of heart disease.
- Congenital Heart Disease – Sadly, some people are born with heart disease.
- Heart Muscle Disease (Cardiomyopathy) – includes dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a thickening of the heart walls) and restrictive cardiomyopathy.
- Pericarditis – Your heart is held by a little sac called the pericardium? The sac can get infected.
- Pericardial Effusion – Fluid around the heart sac can impair heart function.
- Marfan Syndrome – An inherited genetic defect weakens connective tissues in the heart.