Heart Disease FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
- In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. True or False?
- What is a myocardial infarction?
- What does sudden cardiac arrest mean for the heart?
- What are symptoms of a heart attack?
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women. True or False?
- What are risk factors for heart disease?
- In the heart, a clogged artery causes a heart attack. What does a clogged brain artery cause?
- When heart trouble is sensed, who waits at least two hours before help is called: Men or women?
- The term "heart failure" means the heart has stopped working. True or false?
- People can be born with heart disease. True or False?
- Has heart disease ever been responsible for half of the deaths in America?
- What is the most common type of heart disease in the U.S.?
- What is the medical term for chest pain?
- Improve your Health I.Q. on Heart Disease
- Heart Disease Related Slideshows
- Heart Disease Related Image Collections
Q:In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. True or False?
Heart disease causes the deaths of over half a million people in the U.S. annually, which totals a quarter of all deaths in men and women each year. Approximately three quarters of a million U.S. heart deaths are from heart attack - most of these are first time heart attacks.
Q:What is a myocardial infarction?
A:The definition of myocardial infarction is the medical term for heart attack.
Q:What does sudden cardiac arrest mean for the heart?
A:When the heart suddenly stops beating, it is referred to as a sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest stops the blood from flowing to vital organs, including the brain.
Q:What are symptoms of a heart attack?
A:The many symptoms of heart disease include:
- shortness of breath,
- chest discomfort and/or pain,
- chest heaviness,
- vomiting, and
- pain that radiates to the jaw, arm, or throat.
Sometimes heart disease causes no symptoms at all.
People with the symptoms above persisting for longer than five minutes should call 9-1-1 immediately for emergency medical care. Your doctor should be notified for symptoms lasting less than five minutes. Urgent evaluation and care is key in preventing injury and death.
Q:Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women. True or False?
Heart disease is the leading killer of women, leading to more women dying each year than all cancer deaths combined! Older women are more likely to have heart disease, however all women should be screened for prevention and early treatment.
Q:What are risk factors for heart disease?
A:Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease.
They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Important risk factors for heart disease are:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- Age (55 or older for women)
Q:In the heart, a clogged artery causes a heart attack. What does a clogged brain artery cause?
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is significantly impaired. A stroke that results from inadequate blood supply to the brain is referred to as an ischemic stroke. When a blood vessel to the brain breaks open and bleeds, it causes a hemorrhagic stroke.
Q:When heart trouble is sensed, who waits at least two hours before help is called: Men or women?
A:Both men and women.
Unfortunately, Americans typically wait over two hours before calling for help when they have symptoms of heart disease. This can be a dangerous mistake.
Q:The term "heart failure" means the heart has stopped working. True or false?
When the heart does not pump strongly enough to circulate blood throughout the body, the condition is referred to as heart failure. This can occur because of heart muscle weakness or inadequate filling of blood into the heart chambers.
Q:People can be born with heart disease. True or False?
Congenital heart disease and congenital heart defects are heart problems that are present at birth. There are many forms of heart defects including abnormal development of the heart muscle, heart valves, and blood vessels into and out of the heart. Heart defects are common birth abnormalities, present in over 30,000 infants born annually.
Q:Has heart disease ever been responsible for half of the deaths in America?
Heart disease and stroke were the causes of 50% of deaths in the U.S. by 1950. At that time, it was not fully understood what led to cardiovascular disease, and heart deaths were common in people 50 years of age.
Q:What is the most common type of heart disease in the U.S.?
A:Coronary artery disease.
The most common form of heart disease in the U.S. is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD causes heart attacks because the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle is inadequate. Lifestyle changes and medications can reduce the risk of CAD.
Q:What is the medical term for chest pain?
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