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Diseases of the Heart

Harvard Doctors Reveal

What you need to know about heart disease

Heart disease has been the No. 1 cause of death in America for nearly a century, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. In the U.S. alone, someone has a coronary event (a heart attack or death from coronary heart disease) every 40 seconds.

But you don’t need to become a statistic. To help you slow or even prevent the progression of heart disease, Harvard Medical School experts created Diseases of the Heart.

This Special Health Report brings you important information on various conditions that affect the heart, along with their causes and symptoms, how they're diagnosed, and how they can be prevented. You’ll learn about major cardiovascular problems such as hardening of the arteries, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, and more.

You’ll get details on atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, valve problems, aneurysms, and infections and inflammation of the heart, as well as rare conditions and congenital defects.

You’ll find answers you can trust to nearly all your cardiovascular questions, like: 

  • Why you may need your blood pressure taken at your ankle
  • A common cause of heart palpitations
  • Why a low-sodium diet is critical if you have heart failure
  • Reasons you may need cholesterol-lowering medication even if your cholesterol levels are normal
  • And so much more!

Plus, you’ll get a Special Bonus Section—Lifestyle habits that help your heart—that reveals dozens of things you can do to keep your heart healthy.  

6 signs of a heart attack you may not know

The common signs of a heart attack for both men and women are pain in the center of the chest that spreads through the upper body and sweating. However, women and older people may be more likely to experience some less common symptoms, such as:

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Weakness
  3. Nausea or vomiting
  4. Dizziness
  5. Back or jaw pain
  6. Unexplained fatigue

If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. In addition, chew one standard, 325-mg plain aspirin tablet (not a baby aspirin) as soon as possible. Chewing the pill gets its anticlotting compounds into your bloodstream much faster than swallowing it. Make sure it is a regular aspirin, not enteric-coated, which will act slowly even if chewed.

Four Doctors

Diseases of the Heart contains lifesaving information, such as:

  • How to tell if you’re at risk for a heart attack
  • How high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes affect your heart
  • 15 helpful illustrations that reveal how the heart works, what causes problems, and how specific treatments and procedures work

Plus a Special Bonus Section that reveals how you can prevent or slow heart disease.