November 1, 2014
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Heart

 Health Home >> Heart >> Understanding heart disease 


What is heart disease?

The term heart disease refers to a number of conditions that result in the heart not being able to work properly. Examples of heart disease include:

  • coronary artery disease
  • arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • heart failure
  • heart valve disease
  • heart muscle disease
  • congenital heart disease

The heart is a muscle that pumps oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the rest of the body. Heart disease may occur when the heart muscle itself does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood, causing problems such as angina (chest pain) and heart attack. It can also involve arrhythmia, which is when the heart beats irregularly or abnormally. Changes in the function or structure of the heart muscle or heart valves can also cause heart problems.

The good news is that some types of heart disease can be prevented! Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for more information on heart disease prevention strategies. Refer to the Doctor Discussion Guide for more information and questions you might want to ask your doctor about heart health.


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