CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation but most commonly it refers to coronary heart disease (angina, heart attack), stroke and other blood vessel diseases.
Other conditions include congenital heart disease, heart valve disease and disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
Related topics: atherosclerosis, angina, heart attack, stroke.
Often, there are no symptoms of the underlying disease. A heart attack or stroke may be the first signs of CVD.
Risk factors include:
Many risk factors influence and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. A lot of these risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight/obesity, inactivity and smoking are modifiable.
Your doctor will do a physical examination and ask you about your own and your family medical history before doing any tests.
These tests may include: blood tests, ECG, echocardiogram, a Holter monitor, angiogram/cardiac catheterisation, a CT scan, and MRI.
Making certain lifestyle changes is vital to improving and potentially preventing cardiovascular disease.
Depending on your individual condition, certain medications may be prescribed. If these medications aren’t enough, specific procedures or surgery may be recommended.
The Irish Heart Foundation offers a range of free support services to those affected by heart disease or stroke that can greatly improve their quality of life. These include support groups, physical exercise classes, therapy sessions and more.
For more information on these supports, see our Patient Supports page.
If you have any questions about heart disease or stroke, you can also call the Irish Heart Foundation’s Nurse Support on (01) 668 5001 to speak to a nurse specialist who will answer your questions, and give you guidance and reassurance.