Heart and Blood Vessel Disease

Cardiovascular disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart and blood vessels, including:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease (including heart attacks)
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Valve disease
  • Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)

Learning more about your heart and blood vessels can help prevent future disease. If you have cardiovascular disease, you can live a healthier, more active life by understanding your risk factors, the range of diagnostic tests available, treatment options and ways in which you can contribute toward your care.

Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Several factors determine a person's chance of having a cardiovascular disease. The following list summarizes most of the risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease:

  • Smoking (past and present)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Gender
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol - helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries
  • Obesity
  • Diet (high in saturated fats and/or triglycerides)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • High blood triglycerides