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Heart disease is a general term that includes many types of heart problems. It's also called cardiovascular disease, which means heart and blood vessel disease.

There are many different types of heart disease. Some you may be born with, called congenital heart disease. Other types develop during your lifetime.

Coronary artery disease (coronary heart disease) is the most common type. It happens slowly over time when a sticky substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply your heart muscle with blood. The plaque narrows or blocks blood flow to the heart muscle and can lead to other heart problems:

  • Angina - chest pain from lack of blood flow
  • Heart attacks - when part of the heart muscle dies from loss of blood flow
  • Heart failure - when your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs
  • Arrhythmia - a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat
  • Cardiomyopathies- heart diseases that affect your heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).

The causes of heart disease depend on the type of disease. Some possible reasons include lifestyle, genetics, infections, medicines, and other conditions.

To find out if you have heart disease, your healthcare provider will:

  • Ask about your medical history, including your symptoms
  • Ask about your family health history, including relatives who have had heart disease
  • Do a physical exam
  • Likely run heart tests and blood tests

Sometimes, your provider may refer you to a cardiologist (a doctor specialising in heart diseases) for tests, diagnosis, and care.

Treatment plans for heart disease depend on your type of heart disease, your symptoms, and what other health conditions you have. Possible treatments may include:

  • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes
  • Medicines
  • Procedures or surgeries
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

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