Heart Disease Home > Facts About Heart Disease
Information you need to know about risk factors for heart disease and associated symptoms includes:
- Some risk factors for heart disease you cannot control; others you can. Risk factors for this condition include:
- High cholesterol levels, also known as hypercholesterolemia (see Cholesterol and Heart Disease)
- High blood pressure, also known as hypertension (see Effects of High Blood Pressure)
- Diabetes (see Diabetes and Heart Disease)
- Smoking (see Smoking and Heart Disease)
- Being overweight (see Obesity and Heart Disease; click BMI Calculator to learn your ideal weight)
- Being physically inactive (see Heart Disease and Exercise)
- Family history of early heart disease.
- Chest pain (angina) is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease.
Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Important points to remember about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this disease include:
- There is no one single test used to make a diagnosis. Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical and family history, your risk factors, and perform a physical exam and several tests. These procedures are used to decide if you have coronary heart disease, the extent and severity of the disease, and to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
(Click Heart Disease Diagnosis for more information.)
- The goals of treatment are to:
(To read the full article on this topic, click Heart Disease Treatment.)
- Your chance of developing CAD increases with the number of risk factors you have. The steps for minimizing your risk include:
- Knowing your risk factors
- Monitoring your health
- Knowing your family history for early heart disease
- Making lifestyle changes
- Possibly taking medication (see Heart Medications).
- Important lifestyle changes for preventing heart disease or controlling it include:
- Get moving (see Heart Disease and Exercise)
- Maintain a healthy weight (see Weight and Heart Disease)
- Eat a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet (see Diet and Heart Disease)
- Control your blood pressure and cholesterol (see Lowering Blood Pressure or Lowering Cholesterol)
- Prevent or manage diabetes (see Diabetes Treatment)
- Don't smoke (see Smoking and Heart Disease).
(For a more in-depth look at reducing your risk, click Heart Disease Prevention.)