Heart Disease Home > Facts About Heart Disease

Risk Factors and Symptoms

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:



  • 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:


    • Relieve symptoms
    • Slow or stop atherosclerosis by controlling or reducing the risk factors
    • Lower the risk for blood clots, which can cause a heart attack
    • Widen or bypass clogged arteries
    • Reduce cardiac events.

(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).



(For a more in-depth look at reducing your risk, click Heart Disease Prevention.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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