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Who gets heart disease?

It is important to understand that everyone is at risk of heart disease. Heart disease can be acquired from birth or developed over the course of our lives.   Cardiovascular disease is another term used for heart disease. It implies disease of the heart and the vascular systems that supply blood to the entire body. Cardiovascular disease can have serious consequences for people at all stages of life.

Let’s look at a couple of common beliefs about heart disease. Many people think heart disease is an illness of the elderly. Not true - each year in the United States, approximately 36,000 children are born with heart defects. Further, when we look at arteries of children who have died prematurely due to an accident, we often find their arteries have evidence of early plaque build-up (the beginnings of blockages).

Another common misconception is that heart disease affects men, not women. To the contrary, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States and in many other parts of the world.

In short, heart health is a priority for everyone.
Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine
You have a higher risk of heart disease if you are male or have a family history of early heart disease. Your risk also increases as you age. With aging, nicks inevitably occur in the arteries, but your body has a repair "crew" that can fix many of these insults.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.