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United States Department  of Veterans Affairs

Coronary Heart Disease

Cardiology SymbolHeart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States and is a major cause of disability. Almost 700,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. each year. That is about 29% of all U.S. deaths. Heart disease is a general term that includes many heart conditions. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease (CHD), which can lead to heart attack.

Names for Heart Disease

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Heart disease
  • Ischemic (is- KE-mik) heart disease (IHD)
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)

CHD develops when one or more of the coronary arteries narrows. This results from a buildup of cholesterol. This buildup decreases the blood flow to the heart muscle.

The risk of CHD can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk for heart disease and heart attack. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack, calling 911 right away, and getting to a hospital are crucial to reaching positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have had a heart attack can work to reduce their risk of future heart attacks.

Learn more about how to prevent heart disease and heart attack and to act in time. Getting Started

General Information: An overview of the condition, including symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatments and medications

Self-Management: Understand and track the condition through use of various health tools

Reviewed/Updated Date: October 30, 2006
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Dr. William Duncan
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Robert Jesse
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Beverly Bahr, Laureen Pada

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