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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN-JAZZ  /  SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)

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HEART DISEASE

HEART DISEASE



What Is Heart Disease?

How the Heart Works

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

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

What Is Heart Disease?

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

Causes

Atherosclerosis

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.

Heart Attack Causes

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?

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

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.

Health Check: Assess Your Heart Disease Risk

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

Homocysteine

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

CRP and Heart Disease

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

Metabolic Syndrome

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

Men and Heart Disease

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.

Women and 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

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

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.

Lower High Blood Pressure

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

Heart Disease and Diet

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

Heart Disease Prevention and Exercise

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.

Quit Smoking

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

Stress and Heart Disease

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

Alcohol and Heart Disease

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

Antioxidants, Vitamin E and Heart Disease

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.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Disease

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

 

 

Heart Disease Guide 1 Overview & Facts 2 Symptoms & Types 3 Diagnosis & Tests 4 Treatment & Care 5 Living & Managing 6 Support & Resources

 

WHAT IS ANGINA?

Angina is pain or discomfort that comes when your heart does not get enough oxygen. Angina is most often a symptom of a heart problem known as coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease (CAD).

Your heart is a muscle. It pumps oxygen-rich blood to your whole body. Your heart also needs oxygen to work. Blood vessels called coronary arteries carry blood with oxygen to your heart. These arteries are on the surface of your heart.

In healthy coronary arteries, blood flows freely to bring oxygen to the heart. In coronary heart disease, these arteries become stiff and narrow. This lowers blood flow and the amount of oxygen that gets to the heart. With exercise or emotional stress, the heart works harder and needs more oxygen. Lower blood flow can lead to angina. You could feel discomfort or pain in the chest, arm, shoulder, back, neck or jaw. When angina has been present for months or years without much change, it is called chronic stable angina. It most often goes away with rest or nitroglycerin*.

If a clot forms in a coronary artery, it can further block blood flow. This can lead to chest pain known as unstable angina. It most often occurs at rest. Unstable angina is a medical emergency and requires medical help right away

In summary, when blood flow is reduced, your heart does not get as much oxygen as it needs. It cannot pump blood like it should. This lack of oxygen can cause the pain and discomfort of angina. If you have coronary heart disease, angina is the way your heart tells you it needs more oxygen.

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HEART PALPITATIONS

Has your heart ever skipped a beat? Whether it was because you were alarmed or in love, the feeling of your heart fluttering is a common one and does not usually require medical attention.  The sensation of abnormal heartbeats, also known as heart palpitations, happens to most people at some point in their lives.

Common causes of heart palpitations:

  • Intense emotions like anxiety, stress or fear
  • Prescription drugs for asthma, thyroid disease, high blood pressure or cardiac arrhythmia
  • Non-prescription drugs including pseudoephedrine (decongestant), caffeine and nicotine
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Hormone changes
  • Fever
  • Hyperventilation
  • Anemia
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart valve disease

But sometimes heart palpitations are a sign of cardiac arrhythmia, a heart rhythm disorder that requires medical attention.

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