Health Information

Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Metabolic Syndrome

    Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes the presence of a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and/or stroke.

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

    Detailed information on abdominal aortic aneurysms, including description of abdominal aortic aneurysm, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical and procedure illustrations

  • Carotid Artery Disease
    Carotid artery disease causes a narrowing of the major blood vessels that supply the brain. It is caused by atherosclerosis and can lead to a stroke.
  • Cerebral Aneurysm

    A cerebral aneurysm (also called an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm) is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain, resulting in an abnormal ballooning of the artery that is at risk for rupturing.

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    Detailed information on chronic venous insufficiency, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical illustrations

  • Claudication
    Claudication refers to pain in the thigh, calf, and/or buttocks that occurs when walking and may cause you to limp. It may be a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

    Detailed information on deep vein thrombosis and thrombophlebitis, including causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical illustrations

  • Medical Management of Vascular Conditions

    Detailed information on the medical management of vascular conditions, including description of the vascular system, risk factors for vascular conditions, causes of vascular conditions, medical management of risk factors, and full-color anatomical illustrations

  • Overview of the Vascular System

    Detailed information on vascular conditions, including a description of the vascular system, causes and effects of vascular disease, and a full-color anatomical illustration

  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection

    Detailed information on thoracic aortic aneurysms, including description of a thoracic aortic aneurysm, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and full-color anatomical illustrations

  • Varicose Veins

    Detailed information on varicose veins, including causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and full-color anatomical illustrations

  • Vascular Conditions and Diseases

    Detailed information on vascular conditions and diseases

  • Obesity

    Detailed information on obesity, including obesity causes, obesity health effects, obesity medical treatment, obesity surgical treatment, maintaining weight loss, and obesity prevention

  • Overview of Obesity

    Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can inflict substantial harm to a person’s health. Learn about obesity causes and obesity health effects.

  • Treatment of Obesity

    Detailed information on obesity treatment, including obesity medical treatment, obesity surgical treatment, obesity gastric bypass (malabsorptive) surgery, and obesity gastric stapling (restrictive) surgery

  • Obesity Treatment Overview

    Whatever treatment plan a person follows, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long term.

  • Medical Treatment for Obesity

    Medical treatment can help with weight loss if your own efforts are unsuccessful—or if you have a medical condition that makes it crucial to lose weight.

  • Surgical Treatment for Obesity

    Detailed information on obesity surgical treatment, including gastric bypass surgery, and gastric stapling surgery

  • Gastric Restrictive Surgery

    Gastric restrictive surgery is a type of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. It limits the amount of food you can eat. This surgery may be used to treat severe obesity when diet, exercise, and medication have failed.

  • Maintaining Weight Loss

    Keeping extra weight off requires effort and commitment, just as losing weight does.

  • Preventing Obesity

    Given the chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity and the fact that obesity is difficult to treat, prevention is extremely important.

  • Basic Anatomy of the Heart

    Located almost in the center of the chest, the adult human heart is about the size of two fists held side-by-side.

  • Aneurysm
    An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel. An aneurysm may occur in any blood vessel, but most often develops in an artery rather than a vein. An aneurysm can be characterized by its location, shape, and cause.
  • Angina Pectoris

    Angina pectoris occurs when the heart muscle doesn't receive enough blood and oxygen for a given level of work.

  • Arrhythmias

    An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause problems with the contractions of your heart chambers.

  • Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries

    Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. There are two main coronary arteries: the right and the left.

  • Atherosclerosis

    Atherosclerosis is a type of thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. It can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other circulatory conditions.

  • Atrial Fibrillation

    Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a kind of abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. Afib increases the risk for blood clots. These clots can then travel to the brain, causing a stroke. This is why AFib significantly increases the risk for stroke.

  • Determining Your Body Mass Index

    Your BMI gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat.

  • Cardiomyopathy

    Cardiomyopathy is any disease of the heart muscle in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be conducted while a person is a hospital inpatient or on an outpatient basis.

  • Cardiac Catheterization

    Cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a catheter is moved through a blood vessel to the heart in order to better diagnose coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure and other heart conditions.

  • Components of Food

    When trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition.

  • Congenital Heart Defects

    When the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth, a condition called congenital heart defect occurs.

  • Heart Failure

    Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs.

  • Coronary Heart Disease

    A person with coronary heart disease has an accumulation of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries. These deposits narrow the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.

  • Cardiac Diagnostic Tests

    Here's a look at just a few of the tests that have been used or are being used to understand and identify cardiovascular disease.

  • Diet and Cardiovascular Disease

    The Choose My Plate plan from the federal government is a guideline to help you eat a healthy diet.

  • Heart Valve Diseases

    Heart valves can malfunction on one of two ways: They can fail to close completely, allowing blood to flow backward, or they can become damaged, limiting blood flow.

  • Cardiac Conditions and Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common cardiovascular diseases, including full-page descriptions detailing the most common types of heart disease, related symptoms, diagnostic, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, ICDs, and treatment information

  • Echocardiogram

    An echocardiogram is a procedure in which ultrasonic sound waves are used to assess the heart's function and structures.

  • Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System

    The heart is a pump made of muscle tissue. Its pumping action is regulated by electrical impulses.

  • Electrocardiogram

    An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out.

  • Exercise: Before Starting an Exercise Program

    It is always important to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program, particularly if you have certain health conditions.

  • Designing an Exercise Program

    To improve your heart and lung fitness, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week.

  • Risks of Physical Inactivity

    Lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

    Do cell phones interfere with pacemakers? Do ICDs need to be adjusted? Here are answers to these and other questions.

  • Cholesterol in the Blood

    The cholesterol in your blood comes from the foods you eat and your liver—but your liver makes all of the cholesterol your body needs.

  • Calculating Calories and Fat Grams

    Here's a formula to help you figure out how many calories and fat grams you need each day to maintain your current weight.

  • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

    High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack).

  • Home Page - Cardiovascular Diseases

    Cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and rheumatic heart disease.

  • Living with a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

    With advances in technology, pacemakers and ICDs generally last several years and, in most cases, allow a person to lead a normal life.

  • Heart Murmurs

    Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including defective heart valves, fever, and pregnancy.

  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

    Mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which blood leaks backward through the mitral valve in the heart. This backflow of blood may result in a heart murmur.

  • Online Resources - Cardiovascular Diseases

    List of Internet sites with information about cardiovascular diseases

  • Stroke

    Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. A blood clot can block one of the vital blood vessels in the brain or a blood vessel in the brain can burst, spilling blood into surrounding tissues.

  • Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

    Detailed information on living with a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator

  • Overview of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)

    A pacemaker is a small device implanted under the skin that sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat.

  • Pericarditis

    Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the thin sac that surrounds the heart.

  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

    Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder caused by narrowing, blockage or spasms in a blood vessel.

  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

    Detailed information on heart disease prevention

  • Cardiac Procedures

    These procedures are often used in the evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

  • Rheumatic Heart Disease

    Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. The heart valve damage starts with an untreated or under-treated strep infection. In some cases, strep throat or scarlet fever, which are caused by streptococcus A bacteria, can progress to rheumatic fever if not treated properly.

  • Cardiac Sarcoma

    Cardiac sarcoma is a rare type of cancerous tumor that occurs in the heart.

  • Topic Index - Cardiovascular Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common types cardiovascular diseases, including symptoms, prevention, diagnostic, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, ICDs, and treatment information

  • Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

    Smokers not only have increased risk of lung disease, including lung cancer and emphysema, but also have increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and oral cancer.

  • Cardiovascular Disease Statistics

    Heart disease is one of the most serious health problems in the United States. Find out more facts and figures on this topic.

  • Evaluation Procedures for Stroke

    Tests that may be used to help diagnose a stroke include a CT scan or MRI, and an electroencephalogram.

  • Rehabilitation for Stroke

    Stroke rehabilitation works best when the patient, family, and rehabilitation staff works together as a team. Family members must learn about impairments and disabilities caused by the stroke and how to help the patient achieve optimal function again.

  • Treatment for Stroke

    Although there is no cure for stroke, advanced medical and surgical treatments are now available, giving many stroke victims hope for optimal recovery.

  • Statistics of Stroke

    Almost every 40 seconds in the United States, a person experiences a stroke.

  • Stroke (Brain Attack)

    Detailed information on stroke, also called brain attack, including history, statistics, symptoms, types, effects, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation information

  • Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

    If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency medical service immediately. Treatment for stroke is most effective when started as soon as possible.

  • Types of Stroke

    Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain.

  • Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves

    Detailed anatomical description of the heart valves, including simple definitions and a labeled, full-color illustration

  • Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery Procedure
    Gastric bypass surgery, a type of bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery), is a procedure that alters the process of digestion. Bariatric surgery is the only option today that effectively treats morbid obesity in people for whom more conservative measures such as diet, exercise, and medication have not been effective.
  • Renal Vascular Disease
    Renal vascular disease affects the blood flow into and out of the kidneys. It may cause kidney damage, kidney failure, and high blood pressure.
  • Pulmonary Embolism

    A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body (often in the leg). It travels to a lung artery where it suddenly blocks blood flow.

  • Effects of Stroke

    When an area of the brain is damaged, which typically occurs with a stroke, an impairment may result. An impairment is the loss of normal function of part of the body. Sometimes, an impairment may result in a disability, or inability to perform an activity in a normal way.

  • Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure)

    Vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems. Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.

  • Automated External Defibrillator

    An AED is a small, portable, battery-powered machine with a computer in it. The machine detects heart activity. It can give an electric shock to someone if needed.

  • The Cardiologist

    A cardiologist is a doctor who has had extra training to treat problems of the heart and blood vessels. These include heart attack and heart failure.

  • The Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist

    A clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, or cardiac EP, is a doctor who treats rhythm problems of the heart.

  • Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases

    Living a healthier lifestyle can help prevent heart disease. Don't smoke, eat a heart-healthy diet, and get regular exercise.

  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

    Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses pulses of electricity to help the ventricles, or the two lower chambers of the heart, beat as they should.

  • Atrial Flutter

    Atrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the atria to beat more quickly than they should.

  • Ventricular Fibrillation

    Ventricular fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, that affects your heart’s ventricles.

  • Ventricular Tachycardia

    Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart rate that begins in your heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. Experts describe it as three or more heartbeats in a row, at a rate of more than 120 beats a minute.

  • Sick Sinus Syndrome

    Sick sinus syndrome is a type of abnormal heartbeat, or arrhythmia. If you have sick sinus, you may have episodes when your heart beats very slowly, stops beating for a short while, or beats very rapidly. Sick sinus syndrome is not just one disease, but a collection of arrhythmias.

  • Long QT Syndrome

    Your heartbeat is a complex bodily function — many systems must work in unison. Disruptions in the electrical activity of your heart can lead to problems. Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is one of them.

  • Heart Block

    When you have heart block, there is interference with the electrical signals that usually move from the top chambers of your heart to the bottom chambers, telling your heart when to beat.

  • Emotions and Heart Health

    Since ancient times, the heart has been a symbol of our emotions. But in recent years, scientists have uncovered a clear physical link between emotions and heart health.

  • Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST)

    Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses. This prevents blood from draining out of the brain. As a result, blood cells may break and leak blood into the brain tissues, forming a hemorrhage. This chain of events is part of a stroke that can occur in adults and children of all ages.

  • Stroke in Children

    Stroke is much more common in adults than children, but children get strokes, too. The good news is that a child has a better ability to recover from stoke than an adult because a child's brain is still developing.

  • Venous Ulcers

    Ulcers can affect any area of the skin but commonly occur on the legs. Leg ulcers caused by circulation problems with the veins in the legs are known as venous ulcers.

  • Brugada Syndrome

    Brugada syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes an irregular heartbeat. This rare, but life threatening condition is more common in people of Asian descent.

  • Buerger’s Disease
    Buerger’s disease  is one of many types of vasculitis. This is inflammation of small and medium size blood vessels. Buerger’s disease causes a tightening, or a blockage, of the blood vessels in your feet and hands. When blood doesn’t flow well to your hands and feet, especially during activity, you may have pain and tissue damage.
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

    Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) is a type of abnormal heartbeat. If you have WPW, you may have episodes of tachycardia, when your heart beats very rapidly