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Cardiovascular health is the branch of medicine that examines and treats heart and blood vessel diseases. These range from acquired conditions, such as coronary heart disease, to congenital heart defects. Cardiovascular health professionals are specialized doctors who help manage these various diseases, with some further specializing as cardiovascular surgeons.
Heart diseases and disorders are caused by a variety of factors that can change depending on the individual. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, for example, can contribute to heart problems later in life, but this is often the result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. In other cases, age and genetics, such as a family predisposition for heart disease, can play a significant role in heart health issues down the line. Additionally, heavy alcohol consumption and smoking will lead to cardiac problems as well.
Heart problems can be diagnosed in a number of different ways, and physicians will likely use as many of them as possible to ascertain a final diagnosis. An electrocardiogram (EKG) may be utilized to record electric activity of the heart. Like EKG's, nuclear stress tests and echocardiograms are both non-invasive procedures that can measure heartbeats, the size of the heart, any potential heart damage and other problems.
Unfortunately, symptoms of heart diseases and disorders may not be too apparent. The general rule of thumb is to live a healthy lifestyle, and when you start to notice chest pains or discomfort, shortness of breath, numbness or any other signs of possible cardiovascular issues, get in touch with a medical professional right away.
Cardiovascular health covers many different heart issues. Some of the most common include: