Heart Disease

There are many types of heart disease, including congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, pericarditis, congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease and pericardial effusion.

Heart disease is the most common cause of death for Americans. Physicians recommend preventative measures to avoid heart disease, like maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, keeping a normal weight, and staying active and smoke-free.

Coronary artery disease, or ischemic heart disease, is one of the most common types of heart disease and the leading cause of heart attacks. Coronary artery disease is a condition that involves a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. The buildup of fat, cholesterol, and calcium, known collectively as plaque, can cause a hardening and narrowing of the arteries which restricts blood from passing through and reaching the heart. Blood clots can also form and completely block the artery.

Coronary artery disease can eventually lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Treatment for heart disease includes healthy lifestyle changes, a wide range of medications, and surgical procedures.

Additional Expert Sources:
American Heart Association
Mayo Clinic
World Heart Federation

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