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Heart disease, which is often called cardiovascular disease, is the name for a group of conditions affecting the heart, blood vessels, and arteries. Types of disease which fall under this category include:
Once heart disease is diagnosed, treatment will be critical. The goals of treatment will be to stabilize the condition, control symptoms, and provide a cure when possible. The doctor will strongly advise lifestyle changes to reduce risk of complications or for the heart disease to get worse. Doctors may also recommend medications and surgery if necessary. However, sometimes lifestyle changes may not be enough, and the doctor will also prescribe medications to help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, both key factors in cardiovascular disease. Medication can help to:
Sometimes procedures or surgery are necessary to treat heart disease. Angioplasty, a non-surgical procedure which opens narrow or blocked arteries is often prescribed to improve blood flow to the heart and reduce chest pain. Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting is a surgical procedure used to direct blood flow around a blockage.
There are a number of adjustments a person can make to his or her lifestyle to prevent their chances of developing cardiovascular disease. First, and perhaps most importantly, if a person smokes cigarettes or uses tobacco, they should stop. Second, follow a healthy and balanced diet. People who want to lower their chances of developing heart disease may also want to limit their alcohol intake as there are links between drinking too much and high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, stroke, cancer and other diseases. It is also important to be more active, aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Taking more exercise can also help to reduce stress levels, another indicator of potential heart disease. These changes will help to lower a person’s body weight, control their cholesterol levels, and improve his or her overall health, all of which have a significant impact on a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease.