What is heart disease?
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Sometimes, heart disease may be “silent” and not diagnosed until a person experiences signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia. When these events happen, symptoms may include:
For more information, please see Heart Disease.
Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans (47%) have at least 1 of 3 key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a smoking habit.
Some risk factors for heart disease cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. However, you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
For more information, please see Heart Disease Risk.
This video provides information to help women learn four key numbers that are vital to take charge of their heart health.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack.
You can choose healthy habits to help prevent heart disease.
Choose Healthy Foods and Drinks
Choose healthy meals and snacks to help prevent heart disease and its complications. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Learn more about healthy diet and nutrition at CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity website.
Keep a Healthy Weight
People with overweight or obesity have a higher risk for heart disease. Carrying extra weight can put extra stress on the heart and blood vessels.
To find out if your weight is in a healthy range, you can calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website.
Get Regular Physical Activity
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
For more information, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity website.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use website.
For more information, please see Heart Disease Prevention.
For more information, please see Heart Disease in the United States.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States.
How does heart disease affect men?
For more information, please see Heart Disease in Men.
Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man’s disease, almost as many women as men die each year of heart disease in the United States.
How does heart disease affect women?
For more information, please see Heart Disease in Women.
Black or Hispanic adults who experience cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting are substantially less likely to receive lifesaving care from a bystander. The American Heart Association is working to change this by empowering members of these communities to learn lifesaving Hands-Only CPR.
During Black History Month and in conjunction with American Heart Month, the American Heart Association is encouraging people to “Beat The Beat” for and in their communities by challenging every household or family to have at least one person who knows Hands-Only CPR.
For more information, please see Be The Beat
This video will teach you how to perform Hands-Only CPR on a woman.
This video will teach you how to perform Hands-Only CPR on a man.