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The Top 5 Heart Disease Facts

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Manish Mittal 87% (10 ratings)
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad  •  17 years experience

Heart disease- it’s the no. 1 cause of death for both men and women, so you should know all the facts about heart disease. Developing heart disease may be concerning to you, but understanding heart disease facts can help, especially if you're not 100 percent sure about what goes into having a healthy heart.

Here’s a list of the top 5 facts about heart disease you may or may not know.

Heart disease fact 1: it is not one disease. One of the heart disease facts is that cardiovascular disease is actually a group of diseases. But all of the types of heart disease affect your heart and blood vessels. Many of them are related to atherosclerosis, which develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of your arteries. This is also referred to as a hardening of the arteries.

Heart disease fact 2: there are 8 common types
If you have heart disease it could mean you have any one of the following types.
1. Coronary artery disease: your heart's major blood vessels are damaged
2. High blood pressure: the force of the blood against your artery walls is too high
3. Cardiac arrest: you suddenly lose heart function, breathing and consciousness
4. Congestive heart failure: a chronic condition; your heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should
5. Arrhythmia: an irregular heartbeat, either too fast or too slow
6. Peripheral artery disease: narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to your limbs
7. Stroke: your brain is damaged from an interruption of its blood supply
8. Congenital heart disease: an abnormality in your heart that develops before birth.

Heart disease fact 3: biggest risk factors
The two most commonly mentioned risk factors for heart disease are obesity and smoking. High blood pressure and high ldl cholesterol, also are key heart disease risk factors. 

Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease, including diabetes, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use.
You can control most of these risk factors.

Heart disease fact 4: most common symptoms
Your symptoms will vary depending on the type of heart disease you have. For many people, chest discomfort is one of the first signs. It may first show up during routine daily activities and then go away. Women may even experience it while they’re sleeping or resting. You also could develop swollen feet or ankles or palpitations.
If you’re having a heart attack you may experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away after a few minutes
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back
  • Weakness, light-headedness, nausea
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Heart disease fact 5: it does not discriminates:

  • Of all the heart disease facts that we’ve hi mentioned so far, this one is the most concerning. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. It also is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities.
  • Another fact about heart disease to note is that men accounted for more than half of the heart disease-related deaths.
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