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Heart DiseaseHeart Disease Causes

Let's Talk About the Causes of Heart Disease

When it comes to heart disease, knowledge is power. Understanding what causes harm to your body’s most important muscle is the first step to keeping it healthy.

    Our Pro PanelHeart Disease Causes

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in heart disease to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.Director of Cardiovascular Health & Lipidology

    Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital
    Manhasset, NY
    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPH

    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPHDirector of Clinical Cardiology

    Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
    Queens, NY
    David Friedman, M.D.

    David Friedman, M.D.Director of Heart Failure Services

    Northwell Health’s LIJ Valley Stream
    Long Island, NY

    Frequently Asked QuestionsHeart Disease Causes

    What can I do to prevent heart disease?

    Turns out, a lot! And it’s never too late to start. If you’re a smoker, for example, quitting results in immediate benefits. Your heart rate drops to normal right way, your heart attack risk goes down in the first few days and weeks, and, within a year, your risk of CAD has been cut in half compared to people who still smoke.

    How can I learn if I’m at risk for heart disease?

    Talk to your doctor, who can review your current health as well as your health history and your family health history. Then, get a physical. You’ll have your blood pressure measured and blood tests will reveal issues such as high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. Depending on the results, you may need an electrocardiogram, which can reveal abnormalities in your heart.

    What if I already have some form of heart disease?

    Medical procedures, medications, and lifestyle changes can help you live a normal life despite your disease, and your cardiologist will walk you through the options and decide what’s best for you. Much of the work will be up to you, however. Treatment for heart disease involves commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle. It’s worth the effort! You can slow or sometimes halt the progression of your disease. Exercise, for example, can bring down blood pressure and weight.

    Where can I get help for my heart disease?

    If you’ve had a heart attack or have heart failure, you may be eligible for cardiac rehabilitation. The same applies if you have had certain heart procedures or surgery. During cardiac rehab, which often lasts about three months, you will meet with a team of medical professionals, including doctors, nutritionists, exercise specialists, and others who will help you make last heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercise and diet, as well as offer you emotional support to help you cope with the anxiety and depression that often accompanies heart disease.

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s covered everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus.