Facts to Know about Heart Disease

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is one of the leading killers in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. With so much on the line, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors of heart disease.

The term “heart disease” refers to several conditions that affect the heart. This includes heart rhythm problems, diseases of the blood vessels or arteries, and heart defects that you’re born with, among others.

 People with heart disease are at risk of both heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest. During heart attacks, blood flow to the heart is blocked. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating abruptly and blood stops flowing to the brain and other organs.

Sudden cardiac arrest may occur after a heart attack. Without resuscitation from CPR or a defibrillator, most people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die within a few minutes. The majority of sudden cardiac deaths occur in men.