Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. and a major cause of disability.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a term used to describe problems related to plaque buildup in the arteries. Other types of heart disease include an irregular heartbeat, heart valve problems and heart failure. These conditions also put you more at risk for heart attack and stroke.

Signs and symptoms of heart disease

Many of the leading causes of heart disease have no side effects or symptoms. High cholesterol and high blood pressure usually exist without the patient knowing. Poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise are also contributing risk factors for heart disease.


Aside from aging, your gender and family history, you can manage your heart health and work to prevent heart disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to start. Getting sufficient exercise, eating a heart-healthy, low-fat diet and watching your weight are great ways to prevent heart disease. And if you smoke, stop. Quitting smoking decreases your risk for heart disease. You should also schedule an annual checkup for blood pressure and cholesterol.

What's next?

No matter your age, it's important to familiarize yourself with heart disease. Speaking with your health care provider will help you become aware of any risk factors in your life.

To find a doctor, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463.

And as always, diet, exercise and lifestyle choices are your first steps toward lowering your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Sources: American Heart Association, National Institute of Health