Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases affecting your heart. These can include diseases of blood vessels such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), heart infections, and congenital heart defects.
The term "heart disease" is often used interchangeably with "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 infections and conditions that affect your heart's muscle, valves or beating rhythm, are also considered forms of heart disease.
Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.
Heart disease symptoms vary, depending on the type of the disease.
Cardiovascular disease symptoms can include:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms, if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
You might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until your condition worsens to the point that you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It's important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss any concerns with a health professional. Cardiovascular disease can often be caught early with regular visits to your physician and even prevented with healthy eating and exercise such as prescribed at Core Identity.