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Heart Disease

Let's Talk About Heart Disease

From irregular rhythms to chest pain, the term "heart disease" covers a lot of territory. We'll walk you through it all.

    Our Pro PanelHeart Disease

    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
    Percentage of silent heart attacks, number of Americans over 20 with coronary heart disease, heart disease is leading cause of death in the U.S., number of Americans who die from year disease per year, percentage of preventable heart disease cases
    Nikki Cagle
    Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking or vaping, obesity, and stress
    Nikki Cagle
    Common treatments for heart disease include statins, blood thinners, beta blockers, and lifestyle changes
    Nikki Cagle

    Frequently Asked QuestionsHeart Disease

    Can you prevent heart disease?

    Yes and no. Some risks for heart disease, like high blood pressure (HBP), can be greatly influenced by family history. But there is plenty you can do to lower your risk for developing heart problems by eating right, not smoking, getting regular exercise and quality sleep, lowering your stress levels, and taking your prescribed medications as directed by your doctor.

    How can I reverse my heart disease?

    Unless you’re in the end stages of heart failure, there is usually time to lower your odds of a serious cardiac event by taking great care of yourself. Lower high cholesterol by avoiding foods loaded with saturated and trans fats. Move your body every day to help treat hypertension, quit smoking, and lose weight if you’re obese.

    What causes heart disease?

    Genetics can play a role, but how you choose to live, day in and day out, year after year, often has a huge impact, too. Are you constantly stressed at work? Try meditation, doing yoga, or switching jobs. Love cigarettes, fried fare, and drinking a lot of alcohol? You might need a rethink on those unhealthy habits, too.

    What is congenital heart disease?

    This is when you’re born with a heart defect, when one or more abnormalities of the heart’s structures affect how well blood and oxygen flow through the heart. Defects range from simple and benign to complex and dangerous (or even life-threatening).

    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.