Heart Disease Explained

Studies have shown that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Conditions may include coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure and congenital heart disease. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, an unhealthy weight and lack of exercise increase the risks. Genetics may predispose certain individuals to heart disease, which may be aggravated by various other risk factors, such as diet.

“People generally think of a heart attack, when they hear of heart disease; but many conditions, such as coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia and heart failure, can cause chest pain, palpitations or shortness of breath,” says Dr. Kirollos.

These symptoms should not be ignored. The longer treatment is postponed, the greater the risk of heart damage, which could ultimately lead to death.

According to Dr. Kirollos, after examining a patient for any type of heart disease, further imaging procedures may be needed for additional diagnosis. He adds that early intervention can reduce the risk of permanent damage or death.