Heart Disease

Our hearts contract and relax approximately 100,000 times each day. We don’t give much thought to this involuntary rhythm - until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, heart disease is an all too common, and often lethal, condition. In fact, according to the CDC, it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. 

Many heart disease risk factors - like age, gender and family history - cannot be controlled. But many can be successfully reduced or eliminated by adopting common sense lifestyle changes.

With up-to-date guidelines that address controllable risk factors including diet, stress and activity, the foremost health experts at Harvard Medical School explain the root causes of heart disease, and decode how consumers can take action to protect their hearts.

Recognizing Risk

A wide array of factors can make you more vulnerable to developing atherosclerosis, the most common precursor to heart disease. The cardiologists of Harvard Medical School provide the latest evidence to help consumers understand their cardiac risk factors, both pre-existing and lifestyle-related.

In the Genes?

People with a family member who developed heart disease at a young age are at greater risk of developing the disease themselves. We provide current research illustrating how genetic factors impact cardiac risk.

Cholesterol: Know Your Numbers

HDL, LDL, Triglycerides—what does it all mean? It’s well established that too much cholesterol in the blood is harmful to heart health, but how much is too much? Our experts provide evidence-based guidelines.

Blood Pressure: The Silent Threat

High blood pressure is a key risk factor increasing one’s risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure—and it’s often a sneaky one. We describe the latest guidelines and recommendations to help consumers keep blood pressure in check.

Practicing Prevention

A new study suggests that young adults with even slightly above-normal blood pressure may be more likely to develop heart problems later in life. The study focused on nearly 2,500 men and women who were 18 to 30 years old at the time the study began. Researchers kept track of study participants for 25 years, evaluating their health 7 times during that time.

Heart-Healthy Nutrition

More than 66% of adults in the US are overweight or obese (NIH). Heart disease kills one in four Americans. These sobering statistics add up to a big problem. Luckily, it’s a problem with a ready solution: healthier eating. With an evidence-based approach that relies on the latest food science, researchers and nutrition experts from Harvard Medical School offer simple, easy-to-follow advice for a heart-healthy diet. The Six-Week Plan for Healthy Eating makes a “healthy eating plate” the centerpiece of every meal, and includes easy, actionable choices that consumers can incorporate into their daily meal planning to start eating healthfully.

Exercise: The Best Medicine

The evidence is clear: Committing to 30 minutes of daily exercise can enhance physical and mental health, reducing the risks of developing a heart problem. In fact, results of one study demonstrated that regular exercise is more effective than many drugs in decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Beginning a formal exercise program can be daunting. But luckily, encouraging data shows that just adding simple activities to your daily routine, like taking stairs or raking leaves, can bring major benefits. Physicians from Harvard Medical School offer practical and easily achievable strategies to help consumers safely start moving towards preserving a healthy heart.

Stress Management

Stress is an inescapable part of life. But there’s increasing evidence that the way we manage daily challenges, from traffic jams to fear of terrorism, can play a big role in determining our overall health.

In fact, the risk of developing heart disease can be reduced by practicing mindfulness. Experts from Harvard Medical School offer research-driven insights to help consumers maximize mind-body health and better manage stress.

Managing Heart Disease

Despite the increasing focus on cardiac risk factors and healthy living, heart disease—in a variety of forms—persists as a common condition and a significant health threat.

- Aortic Disease

- Congenital Conditions

- Coronary Artery Disease

- Heart Attack

- Heart Failure

- Heart Rhythm Disorders

When Medication Is Needed

When lifestyle changes are not enough to lower cholesterol and blood pressure—two key heart disease risk factors—medication can help. We offer evidence-based recommendations to help consumers evaluate medication options for heart health.

Know the Symptoms

What are the symptoms of a heart attack? Our physicians describe the classic signs to look for.

Stay Up-to-Date

New research is constantly informing updated guidelines to help us take care of our hearts. The faculty of Harvard Medical School provide up-to-the-minute updates and help consumers navigate new heart-health research.

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