Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease (CVD), is when you have problems with your heart and blood vessels.
Heart disease can include:
- Narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke.
- Conditions caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries (blood vessels that bring blood to the heart), known as atherosclerosis. These include:
- Coronary heart disease (CHD)
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Other heart conditions—including those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or heartbeat/rhythm.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition connected to heart disease.
- High blood pressure means your heart is working too hard to pump your blood, so there is increased pressure on the walls of your arteries.
- This can put you at risk for stroke or heart attack.
- High blood pressure is the second biggest cause of kidney disease.
Many types of heart disease can be prevented or treated by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include eating a low-salt, low-fat diet, exercising, reducing your stress level, and quitting smoking, if you smoke.