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Heart Disease Health Center

Overview & Facts

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Overwhelmed with information? Start here. Learn the facts about how the heart works -- and the causes and risk factors for heart disease.

What Is Heart Disease?

Where should you start? Here! Follow this link to an illustrated guide to how the healthy heart works. You need this information to understand heart disease.

Heart palpitations are a feeling that your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering.

You asked. We answer. Here's an easy-to-read, illustrated guide to heart disease.

Causes

Atherosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries -- occurs when the walls of these blood vessels thicken due to deposits of fat and plaque. This narrowing or blockage of the arteries causes heart disease.

Most heart attacks are the end result of coronary heart disease, a condition that clogs coronary arteries with fatty, calcified plaques.

Are You at Risk?

Some heart-disease risks you're born with. Some you can avoid. Here's where to learn what to do about both kinds of risk factors for heart disease.

Evaluate your personal health and your risks for big health problems.

Your doctor may be tracking your homocysteine level. Click here to find out why.

Your doctor may also be tracking your CRP level. Click here to find out why.

This cluster of risk factors increases the risk of heart disease. Read more and see how you can improve your heart health.

When you think of heart disease in men, usually people think of coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart), but coronary artery disease is just one type of heart disease.

The risk of heart disease in women increases with age. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over 40 years old, especially after menopause.

Prevention

Good HDL cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol: Here's where to find out what they mean for heart disease, and what you can do about it.

Click here to learn why you need to keep track of your blood pressure -- and how to lower high blood pressure.

What you eat affects your heart. Find out why, and learn the basics of a heart-healthy diet.

In your heart of hearts, you know your heart needs exercise. You're never too old or too out of shape to start exercising. Start by briskly clicking here.

You know it's bad for your lungs. It hurts your heart, too. Don't click your lighter before clicking here.

Stress itself isn't so bad -- it's all in how you handle it. Here are some helpful tips.

What's the buzz on booze? The news isn't bad for moderate drinkers. Here's why.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant -- one of those substances that fight dangerous free radicals. Can they help you avoid heart disease? Click here for more information.

Doctors once thought hormone therapy would protect women against heart disease. That's no longer the case. Here's why.

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