Heart Disease Risk Factors and Symptoms
It is important to recognize the signs of any heart condition. Early detection and interaction lead to immediate cardiac care and can save your life.
There are many factors that increase your risk for heart disease. These include a family history of heart disease and lifestyle factors.
We can't do anything to control the family genes, but you can adapt lifestyle changes to reduce the chance of developing heart disease. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, diet and exercise, and smoking are all within your control. Learn about our smoking cessations classes to help you quit.
Working with your physician and making these lifestyle changes give you the best chance of preventing the development of heart disease.
Heart disease symptoms will depend on the particular disease.
Abnormalities of the heart's electrical rhythm, known as arrhythmias, may be felt as palpitations, like when your heart is racing or fluttering, or an irregular beating of the heart. The symptoms that might be related to difficulties with the heart muscle or valves could be things such as shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, or dizziness, severe lightheadedness, or passing out.
These symptoms might be chest pain or pressure, but often times it could be fairly subtle, like a tightness or burning, or perhaps even a sensation of indigestion that might otherwise be dismissed as something from the stomach or esophagus.
Women's Heart Disease Symptoms
Women may have variations on these symptoms that might not be classical chest pain. There may be discomfort in the shoulder, jaw, or arms. These symptoms related to coronary disease may be more severe or more persistent in the situation of a heart attack. This arises when a coronary artery completely closes and restricts blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Testing is available Monday–Friday.