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    Diseases & Conditions : Cardiovascular Diseases


      • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

        Detailed information on abdominal aortic aneurysms, including description of abdominal aortic aneurysm, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical and procedure illustrations

      • Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries

        Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. There are two main coronary arteries: the right and the left.

      • Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves

        Heart valves prevent the backward flow of blood. They act as one-way inlets of blood on one side of a ventricle and one-way outlets of blood on the other side of a ventricle.

      • Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves

        Detailed anatomical description of the heart valves, including simple definitions and a labeled, full-color illustration

      • Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System

        The heart is a pump made of muscle tissue. Its pumping action is regulated by electrical impulses.

      • Aneurysm

        An aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of a blood vessel. An aneurysm may occur in any blood vessel, but most often develops in an artery rather than a vein.

      • Angina Pectoris

        Angina pectoris—or simply angina—is chest pain or discomfort that keeps coming back. It happens when some part of your heart does not get enough blood and oxygen.

      • Arrhythmias

        An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause problems with the contractions of your heart chambers.

      • Atherosclerosis

        Atherosclerosis is a type of thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. It can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other circulatory conditions.

      • Atrial Fibrillation

        Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a kind of abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. AFib increases the risk for blood clots. These clots can then travel to the brain, causing a stroke. This is why AFib significantly increases the risk for stroke.

      • Basic Anatomy of the Heart

        Located almost in the center of the chest, the adult human heart is about the size of two fists held side-by-side.

      • Calculating Calories and Fat Grams

        Here's a formula to help you figure out how many calories and fat grams you need each day to maintain your current weight.

      • Cardiac Arrest

        Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops functioning. With no heartbeat, the brain and other vital organs are deprived of blood, leading to death within minutes.

      • Cardiac Arrest and Heart Disease

        Victims of cardiac arrest typically have undiagnosed coronary artery disease (CAD)—the most common cause of the dangerous heart rhythm problems that can lead to this condition.

      • Cardiac Catheterization

        Detailed information on a cardiac catheterization procedure, including how the procedure is performed, reasons for the procedure, and pre- and post-evaluation instructions

      • Cardiac Conditions and Diseases

        Detailed information on the most common cardiovascular diseases, including full-page descriptions detailing the most common types of heart disease, related symptoms, diagnostic, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, ICDs, and treatment information

      • Cardiac Diagnostic Tests

        Here's a look at just a few of the tests that have been used or are being used to understand and identify cardiovascular disease.

      • Cardiac Procedures

        These procedures are often used in the evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

      • Cardiac Rehabilitation

        Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be conducted while a person is a hospital inpatient or on an outpatient basis.

      • Cardiac Sarcoma

        Cardiac sarcoma is a rare type of cancerous tumor that occurs in the heart.

      • Cardiomyopathy

        Cardiomyopathy is any disease of the heart muscle in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.

      • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

        Detailed information on heart disease prevention

      • Cardiovascular Disease Statistics

        Heart disease is one of the most serious health problems in the United States. Find out more facts and figures on this topic.

      • Carotid Artery Disease

        Carotid artery disease causes a narrowing of the major blood vessels that supply the brain. It is caused by atherosclerosis and can lead to a stroke.

      • Cerebral Aneurysm

        A cerebral aneurysm (also called an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm) is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain, resulting in an abnormal ballooning of the artery that is at risk for rupturing.

      • Cholesterol in the Blood

        The cholesterol in your blood comes from the foods you eat and your liver—but your liver makes all of the cholesterol your body needs.

      • Chronic Venous Insufficiency

        Detailed information on chronic venous insufficiency, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

      • Claudication

        Claudication is pain in your thigh, calf, or buttocks that happens when you walk. It may be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is when narrowed or blocked arteries reduce the blood flow to your legs.

      • Components of Food

        When trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition.

      • Congenital Heart Defects

        When the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth, it's called a congenital heart defect.

      • Coronary Heart Disease

        A person with coronary heart disease has an accumulation of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries. These deposits narrow the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.

      • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

        Detailed information on deep vein thrombosis and thrombophlebitis, including causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical illustrations

      • Designing an Exercise Program

        To improve your heart and lung fitness, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week.

      • Determining Your Body Mass Index

        Your BMI gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat.

      • Diet to Help Prevent Heart Disease

        The Choose My Plate plan from the federal government is a guideline to help you eat a healthy diet.

      • Echocardiography (Echo)

        Detailed information on a echocardiography (echo) procedure, including how the procedure is performed, reasons for the procedure, and pre- and post-evaluation instructions

      • Effects of Stroke

        When an area of the brain is damaged, which typically occurs with a stroke, an impairment may result. An impairment is the loss of normal function of part of the body. Sometimes, an impairment may result in a disability, or inability to perform an activity in a normal way.

      • Electrocardiogram (EKG) / Stress Test / Holter Monitor

        Detailed information on an electrocardiogram (EKG) procedure, including how the procedure is performed, reasons for the procedure, and pre- and post-evaluation instructions

      • Evaluation Procedures for Stroke

        Tests that may be used to help diagnose a stroke include a CT scan or MRI, and an electroencephalogram.

      • Exercise: Before Starting an Exercise Program

        It's always important to talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. This is especially true if you have certain health conditions.

      • Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

        Do cell phones interfere with pacemakers? Do ICDs need to be adjusted? Here are answers to these and other questions.

      • Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery

        Gastric bypass surgery involves bypassing a part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. For this reason, these surgeries are referred to as malabsorptive procedures.

      • Gastric Restrictive Surgery

        Gastric restrictive surgery is a type of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. It limits the amount of food you can eat. This surgery may be used to treat severe obesity when diet, exercise, and medicine have failed.

      • Glossary - Cardiovascular Diseases

        Glossary of terms relating to cardiovascular disease and heart healthy living

      • Heart Failure

        Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.

      • Heart Murmurs

        Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including defective heart valves, fever, and pregnancy.

      • Heart Valve Diseases

        Heart valves can malfunction on one of two ways: They can fail to close completely, allowing blood to flow backward, or they can become damaged, limiting blood flow.

      • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

        High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack).

      • History of Stroke

        Hippocrates, the father of medicine, first recognized stroke over 2,400 years ago. At this time stroke was called apoplexy, which means "struck down by violence" in Greek.

      • Home Page - Cardiovascular Diseases

        Cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and rheumatic heart disease.

      • Lifestyle Changes

        Living a healthier lifestyle can help to prevent heart disease. This means eliminating all tobacco, following a heart-healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.

      • Living with a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

        With advances in technology, pacemakers and ICDs generally last several years and, in most cases, allow a person to lead a normal life.

      • Maintaining Weight Loss

        Keeping extra weight off needs effort and commitment, just as losing weight does.

      • Medical Management of Vascular Conditions

        Detailed information on the medical management of vascular conditions. Includes a description of the vascular system, risk factors for vascular conditions, causes of vascular conditions, and medical management of risk factors.

      • Medical Treatment for Obesity

        Medical treatment can help with weight loss if your own efforts are unsuccessful—or if you have a medical condition that makes it crucial to lose weight.

      • Metabolic Syndrome

        Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes the presence of a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome greatly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or all three.

      • Mitral Valve Prolapse

        The mitral valve sits between the left atrium and left ventricle. It's job is to keep blood flowing in the right direction. Mitral valve prolapse is the bulging of the valve causing blood to leak backwards.

      • Obesity

        Detailed information on obesity, including obesity causes, obesity health effects, obesity medical treatment, obesity surgical treatment, maintaining weight loss, and obesity prevention

      • Obesity Treatment Overview

        Whatever treatment plan a person follows, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long-term.

      • Online Resources - Cardiovascular Diseases

        List of Internet sites with information about cardiovascular diseases

      • Overview of Obesity

        Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can inflict substantial harm to a person’s health. Learn about obesity causes and obesity health effects.

      • Overview of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

        A pacemaker is a small device implanted under the skin that sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat.

      • Overview of Stroke

        Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. The disruption is caused when either a blood clot or piece of plaque blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

      • Overview of the Vascular System

        Detailed information on vascular conditions, including a description of the vascular system, causes and effects of vascular disease, and a full-color anatomical illustration

      • Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

        Detailed information on living with a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator

      • Pericarditis

        Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the thin sac that surrounds the heart.

      • Peripheral Vascular Disease

        Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder caused by narrowing, blockage or spasms in a blood vessel.

      • Preventing Obesity in Children, Teens, and Adults

        Given the chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity and the fact that obesity is difficult to treat, prevention is extremely important.

      • Pulmonary Embolism

        A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body (often in the leg). It then travels to a lung artery where it suddenly blocks blood flow.

      • Rehabilitation for Stroke

        Stroke rehabilitation works best when the patient, family, and rehabilitation staff works together as a team. Family members must learn about impairments and disabilities caused by the stroke and how to help the patient achieve optimal function again.

      • Renal Vascular Disease

        Renal vascular disease affects the blood flow into and out of the kidneys. It may cause kidney damage, kidney failure, and high blood pressure.

      • Rheumatic Heart Disease

        Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. The heart valve damage starts with an untreated or under-treated strep infection. In some cases, strep throat or scarlet fever, which are caused by streptococcus A bacteria, can progress to rheumatic fever if not treated properly.

      • Risks of Physical Inactivity

        Lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

      • Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

        If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency medical service immediately. Treatment for stroke is most effective when started as soon as possible.

      • Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

        Smokers not only have increased risk of lung disease, including lung cancer and emphysema, but also have increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and oral cancer.

      • Statistics of Stroke

        Almost every 40 seconds in the United States, a person experiences a stroke.

      • Stroke (Brain Attack)

        Detailed information on stroke, also called brain attack, including history, statistics, symptoms, types, effects, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation information

      • Surgical Treatment for Obesity

        Detailed information on obesity surgical treatment, including gastric bypass surgery, and gastric stapling surgery

      • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection

        Detailed information on thoracic aortic aneurysms, including description of a thoracic aortic aneurysm, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical illustrations

      • Topic Index - Cardiovascular Diseases

        Detailed information on the most common types cardiovascular diseases, including symptoms, prevention, diagnostic, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, ICDs, and treatment information

      • Treatment for Stroke

        Although there is no cure for stroke, advanced medical and surgical treatments are now available, giving many stroke victims hope for optimal recovery.

      • Treatment of Obesity

        Detailed information on obesity treatment, including obesity medical treatment, obesity surgical treatment, obesity gastric bypass (malabsorptive) surgery, and obesity gastric stapling (restrictive) surgery

      • Types of Stroke

        Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain.

      • Varicose Veins

        Detailed information on varicose veins, including causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and full-color anatomical illustrations

      • Vascular Conditions and Diseases

        Detailed information on vascular conditions and diseases

      • Ventricular Fibrillation

        Ventricular fibrillation is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problem. This type of arrhythmia can cause the heart to stop beating abruptly and lead to death within minutes.

      • Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure)

        Vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems. Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.