Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes a number of heart conditions. It can affect anyone at any age. The most common form of CVD is coronary artery disease. If you are experiencing chest pain, it is a sign that your heart needs help.
A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel gets clogged. Blood clots can also block blood flow. These can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Heart disease can be prevented by taking heart-healthy measures. For example, you can cut back on salt and nicotine, eat more fruit and vegetables, and avoid harmful alcohol.
You can also get an electrocardiogram, which will monitor the electrical activity of your heart. This helps doctors detect inflammation, which may be a sign of a problem.
A cardiac catheterization, or angioplasty, involves inserting a small balloon-like device into a blocked artery. A stent is a stainless steel tube that keeps the vessel open.
Some people have a congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defects develop while a baby is growing in the womb. While some defects are serious, some aren’t. In most cases, these heart defects aren’t diagnosed for many years.
Genetics also play a role in some heart diseases. Some of the genes that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease also increase the risk of developing congenital heart defects.
Certain social and economic factors can increase the risk of developing CVD. For example, poverty, lack of exercise, and a family history of heart disease can raise the risk of developing heart problems.