What is Heart Disease?

Your heart is a muscle that gets energy from blood carrying oxygen and nutrients. Having a constant supply of blood keeps your heart working properly. Most people think of heart disease as one condition. But in fact, heart disease is a group of conditions affecting the structure and functions of the heart and has many root causes.

Coronary artery disease, for example, develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (called plaque) builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart (coronary arteries). The plaque buildup narrows the arteries and prevents the heart from getting enough blood.

Here’s how you can reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Be smoke-free.
  • Be physically active.
  • Know and control your blood pressure.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fat.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your diabetes. Limit alcohol use.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Visit your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s advice.

It is crucial to know the emergency signs of heart disease, please take note (signs may vary on men and women):

  • Sweating
  • Chest discomfort
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness


Call 9-11 or your local emergency number immediately if you experience any these signs.

For additional information, please visit http://www.heartandstroke.ca

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada


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