Heart Disease Home > Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease can cause symptoms ranging from chest pain to sudden numbness of the face or arms. There are more than 60 forms of cardiovascular disease, so possible signs may not be the same in all cases. In general, symptoms occur most frequently in the heart and brain, as well as in the legs, pelvis, or arms.

An Introduction to Signs and Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is not one condition. Rather, it is a name used to describe conditions and diseases that affect the heart ("cardio") and blood vessels ("vascular") throughout the body. There are more than 60 types of cardiovascular disease, ranging from the common (coronary heart disease) to the not-so-common (tetralogy of Fallot). Some cardiovascular conditions are present at birth, while others develop over many years. When talking about symptoms of cardiovascular disease, it is not possible to provide a list, because each condition can have so many different symptoms.
That being said, while cardiovascular disease can occur anywhere in the body, it does tend to occur more frequently in the:
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Legs
  • Pelvis
  • Arms.

Symptoms Affecting the Heart

There are a number of different types of heart disease. The most common is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease). Coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. If the arteries that supply the heart with blood, called the coronary arteries, are affected by coronary artery disease, you may have symptoms that include:
  • Chest pain or chest discomfort (angina)
  • Pain in one or both arms, the left shoulder, neck, jaw, or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Faster heartbeats
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Feeling very tired.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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