Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the U.S., causing about 600,000 deaths annually – or about one out of every four deaths that occur each year. Nearly 740,000 people have heart attacks each year, including more than half a million people who have never had a heart attack in the past. 
More than half of heart disease-related deaths are due to coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart (the coronary arteries) become narrowed by a buildup of a waxy substance called plaque. This condition is called atherosclerosis, or often, “hardening” of the arteries.
Several risk factors contribute to the development of heart disease, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor diet
- Alcohol abuse
Other types of heart disease include congenital heart disease (from birth); valve disease; arrhythmia; atrial fibrillation; heart muscle disease; pericarditis; and congestive heart failure. 
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of heart disease can vary based on the type of disease, but some of the most common symptoms include 
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Profuse sweating
- Swelling in the hands or feet
- Discomfort in the chest, including a feeling of heaviness or tightness
For coronary artery disease, one of the most common symptoms is angina, a type of chest pain that can be mistaken for heartburn. Angina can cause sharp pain, feelings of heaviness on the chest, squeezing or burning sensations or a feeling of increased pressure. These symptoms can also occur in the neck, jaw, shoulders, back or arms.
Heart disease treatment relies on a combination of approaches, including medication and lifestyle changes. The primary aims of treatment are to stabilize the condition and improve its symptoms.
Medications typically used to combat heart disease include 
- Blood pressure medications like beta blockers and calcium channel blockers
- Cholesterol medications
- ACE inhibitors
- Antiplatelet medications
Lifestyle changes are a critical part of maintaining good heart health and preventing or slowing disease progression. Some of the most common lifestyle recommendations include:
- Quitting smoking
- Adopting a low-fat, low-sodium, high-fiber diet
- Being physically active
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Lifestyle changes can also help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
When medication and lifestyle changes aren’t enough, surgeries including angioplasty with stenting, cardiac bypass, cardiac ablation, valve replacement or other approaches may be recommended, depending on the type of heart disease.