Common Cardiovascular Conditions

Atrial fibrillation is a problem with your heart rhythm. Electrical signals tell your heart muscle to squeeze, or contract. In atrial fibrillation, problems with your heart's electrical signals cause the upper chambers, or left atrium and right atrium, to contract in uncontrolled waves. Your heart also may beat faster than normal. This causes problems with blood flow to your heart and to the rest of your body. Learn More


Cholesterol is a type of fat. Your body needs it for many things, such as making new cells. You get cholesterol from the foods you eat. And your body makes it. Having too much cholesterol does not make you feel sick. But if cholesterol builds up in your arteries, it can block blood flow to your heart or brain and may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Learn More

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the belly part of the aorta. The aorta is one of the body's main arteries. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The abdominal aorta carries blood to the lower body. Learn More 


When you have dilated cardiomyopathy, your heart muscle has become weak and enlarged. It does not have the strength to pump enough blood to the rest of your body. Because the heart cannot pump hard enough, some blood remains in it after each heartbeat. Learn More

If you have restrictive cardiomyopathy, it means part of your heart muscle has become stiff. This stiffness happens in the lower heart chambers, which are called the ventricles. Normally, as your heart beats, the ventricles expand fully and fill with blood. This blood then gets pumped out to the body to supply it with oxygen and nutrients. Learn More


Chest pain caused by your heart is called angina. It happens when your heart does not get enough blood. Angina is caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when the major blood vessels to the heart become narrow or blocked. CAD increases your risk for a heart attack. Learn More

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart. If the heart does not get enough oxygen-rich blood, part of the heart dies. Learn More

There are many steps you can take to feel better and improve your health if you have heart failure. Medicine and lifestyle changes can slow heart failure in some people. Learning all you can about your condition can help you get the best results from your treatment. Learn More

Your heart's electrical system controls the timing of your heartbeat. Problems with this system can cause a heart rhythm problem, or arrhythmia, that causes your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or in an ineffective way. Learn More

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure readings include two numbers, such as 130/80, or “130 over 80." The first number is the systolic pressure. This is the force of blood on the artery walls as your heart pumps. The second number is the diastolic pressure. This is the force of blood on the artery walls between heartbeats, when your heart rests. Learn More

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is narrowing of arteries that results in poor blood flow to your arms and legs. The legs are affected most often. When you walk or exercise, your leg muscles do not get enough blood and you can get painful cramps. Learn More

Sleep apnea is fairly common in people who have heart failure. Sleep apnea means you stop breathing for short periods while you are asleep. It may cause you to snore loudly and not sleep well, so you wake up feeling tired. Learn More

Angioplasty is a way to open a blocked coronary artery and restore blood flow to your heart. It can also help prevent heart problems by widening an artery that has been narrowed by plaque. Plaque is a fatty buildup that can block your arteries. Learn More

Cardiac catheterization is a test to check your heart. This test can include a coronary angiogram, which checks the coronary arteries. These blood vessels feed blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your heart. If your coronary arteries are narrowed, you may have chest pain, shortness of breath, and other signs of heart disease. Narrowed arteries also increase your risk of a heart attack. Learn More

Making health decisions is part of life. These decisions can have a big effect on your health and happiness. Some decisions may affect how good your health care is. Others may affect how much it costs. Most people feel better about their health care when they take part in these decisions. Learn More

People who smoke crave the nicotine in cigarettes. To give up smoking, your body has to stop craving the nicotine. It is hard to quit, but most people can do it. Lean More