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Heart Disease or cardiovascular disease can be very complicated and includes a number of conditions that affect the heart’s function. They can include:
•Coronary artery disease or narrowing of the arteries
•Abnormal heart beat or arrhythmias
•Heart valve disease
•Congenital heart disease
•Disease of the heart muscle or cardiomyopathy
•Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
•Vascular disease or blood vessel disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Prevention is very important. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you can still live a healthier active lifestyle by learning about your condition and treatments that are available. You can take control of your health by becoming actively involved in your own care.
By educating yourself, you can learn about your condition, the causes and how to manage your heart disease. Regular physicals and checkups with your family physician are crucial. Your family physician may refer you to a cardiologist depending on the severity of your condition.
Exercise and healthy diet are extremely important when battling heart disease. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. As always, you should consult your physician before starting an exercise program. Choose a heart healthy diet low in fat and sodium.
Smoking is often associated with breathing problems or lung cancer. However, smoking is also a major cause of heart disease for men and women. About 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking.
There are many programs that can help you kick the smoking habit. If you are interested in a smoking cessation program or would like to know more about quitting, your physician can help.
Heart disease can be scary but by having the knowledge and by making the right lifestyle choices you can take control and enjoy life.
For more information on heart disease, call 1-800-888-5551.
- Shane Adams, M.D.
*Submit questions to email@example.com or write to “Doctor “c/o Elizabeth-ton Star, 300 Sycamore St., Elizabethton, TN 37643