Heart Disease

Whatever you or your family needs — from diagnostics to heart surgery or dedicated heart programs for women and children, Norton Healthcare is home to some of the region’s greatest medical advances and happiest outcomes.

Heart disease was once believed to be a disease that primarily affected men, but that is no longer true. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in America. The American Heart Association estimates that more than 6 million people in the United States suffer from heart disease. The estimated age-adjusted statistics for angina show women age 20 and older are higher than rates for men, and African-American and Hispanic women have an even greater occurrence of angina.

Since 1984, the number of heart disease-related deaths in women has exceeded the number of deaths in men. In 2005, there were about 45,000 more heart disease-related deaths in women than in men.

The American Heart Association reports that often women overlook symptoms. What many disregard as indigestion actually may be a sign of heart disease. Although more women die from heart disease, they are less likely to seek treatment. With many people continuing to smoke, eat poorly and not exercise enough, experts fear that the number of deaths from heart disease in men and women will continue to rise. It is never too late or too early to adjust your lifestyle for a healthy heart. Start working today to prevent heart disease.

There are things you can do to help prevent heart disease. Controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and smoking can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease. Reducing your heart disease risk is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication to eliminate habits and diet patterns that increase your chance of developing heart disease.

What Puts You at Risk?

  • Family history of heart disease at a young age – father or brother before age 55; mother or sister before age 65
  • Age – men 45 years and older; women 55 years and older (or after menopause)
  • Binge drinking or drinking more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels – high total cholesterol, high levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) or low levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglyceride level
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese, with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women (metabolic syndrome)
  • Diet low in fiber
  • Sleep apnea
  • Inflammation
  • Poor management of stress
  • Smoking
  • Physical inactivity

Preventing and Treating Heart Disease

To help improve the heart health of our community, Norton Heart and Vascular Institute provides the region’s most expansive screening and education program. In 2009 alone, Norton Heart and Vascular Institute performed nearly 4,500 blood pressure and cholesterol checks at community health events.

Enhancing Quality of Life and Ensuring Continued Recovery

Though Norton Heart and Vascular Institute is made up of some of the nation’s leading heart surgeons, our job is not done after your surgery. Ensuring your continued recovery is just as important to us. We provide our patients with resources and opportunities to help cope with heart diseases and disorders, and learn how to live a heart-healthy life. From rehabilitation programs to wellness classes and support groups, we’re here for you.

Take the online heart risk assessment to determine your heart’s age and learn about your heart disease risk factors.

View our Heart and Vascular Institute videos on YouTube to hear about heart disease, treatment options and prevention from our health experts.

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