The term “heart disease” refers to more than just heart attacks. It applies to a number of conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), and more.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Sometimes, symptoms can be subtle and go unnoticed until a major event like a heart attack occurs. Noticeable symptoms include: chest pain (angina), extreme fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Certain lifestyle habits and risk factors contribute to heart disease. Some risk factors—like age and gender—can’t be controlled. However, others can be. To keep your heart healthy, it’s a good idea to lower your blood pressure, eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet, exercise regularly, manage your stress, and quit smoking.