Know the different heart disease types

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You’ve probably heard the terms cardiovascular disease, heart disease and coronary heart disease. But did you know each of these terms means something different?


Let’s learn some of these “heart” terms and what they mean for your health. If you have a type of cardiovascular disease, work with your doctor to come up with a heart health plan. Your plan might include a healthy diet, exercise and medications.


What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease is any type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. “Cardio” refers to the heart, and “vascular” refers to the blood vessels.


Types of cardiovascular disease include:

•  Coronary heart disease

•  High blood pressure

•  Stroke

•  Heart failure

•  Peripheral artery disease


What is heart disease?

Heart disease is any type of condition that affects the heart’s function or structure. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease. Heart disease also includes:

•  Heart rhythm disorders known as arrhythmias

•  Cardiomyopathy

•  Congenital (present at birth) heart defects

•  Coronary artery disease (CAD)

•  Heart failure


Heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease.


What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease is also called coronary artery disease (CAD). Coronary heart disease happens when a fatty substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. Sometimes people call this clogged arteries or atherosclerosis.


The plaque reduces the amount of blood getting to the heart. This can cause angina, or chest pain. It can also cause blood clots and can lead to a heart attack.


Sources: American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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