Heart Disease

What is Heart Disease?

Coronary heart disease—often simply called heart disease—is the main form of heart disease. It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. Other cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), and rheumatic heart disease.

Heart Disease in the United States

  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.
  • Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.










As plaque builds up in the arteries of a person with heart disease, the inside of the arteries begins to narrow, which lessens or blocks the flow of blood.






Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – learn more here.

One reason some women aren’t too concerned about heart disease is that they think it can be “cured” with surgery or medication. This is a myth. Heart disease is a lifelong condition-once you get it, you’ll always have it. True, procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty can help blood and oxygen flow to the heart more easily. But the arteries remain damaged, which means you are more likely to have a heart attack. What’s more, the condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. Many women die of complications from heart disease, or become permanently disabled. That’s why it is so vital to take action to prevent and control this disease. More information is available on cardiovascular diseases on the the NHLBI Health Topics Web Site.



Many instances of heart disease could be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends healthy eating, regular physical activity, weight management, stress management, and quitting smoking as important factors in preventing heart disease. 

Know your ABCS:

Ask your doctor if you should take a daily Aspirin,

Find out if you have high Blood Pressure or Cholesterol,

and if you Smoke get help to quit.







Content provided by the website for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov), the American Heart Association (www.heart.org), and the CDC (www.cdc.gov).



For more information, visit the American Heart Association website. AHA provides warning signs for heart disease, research, healthy living tips, and more.