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​Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. The main form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, which 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.

Signs and Symptoms

Warning signs of heart disease include:

  • chest discomfort;
  • discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach;
  • shortness of breath;
  • extreme fatigue;
  • indigestion or heartburn; and
  • nausea or vomiting. 

In some cases, no noticeable warning signs will be present.

Risk Factors

Heart disease is primarily a disease of lifestyle and can be prevented by modifying behaviors. These behaviors are known as risk factors. You cannot change certain risk factors, such as age, race, gender or family history. However, you can change the following:

  • tobacco use;
  • obesity;
  • physical inactivity;
  • unhealthy diet;
  • high blood pressure; and
  • high blood cholesterol.


For more information and tools on heart disease, its associated risk factors and how to control your risk, visit the following: